This morning I preached for the 4th and 5th times. It has been about 18 months since my first sermon and I could reasonably expect to be out of practice. Over that time I have done a bit of teaching and public speaking, so I’m much less nervous speaking to a group that I have been in the past. The preparation work was still a challenge.
I had around a fortnight’s notice that Dad would be away this weekend, so when I offered to preach I knew I had plenty of time to get ready. I have been planning a series on the implications of Jesus death and resurrection, but I wanted to do more preparation on the whole series before delivering any of it. Instead I planned to preach on the life of Stephen (no, Stephen the deacon from Acts 5-7).
Then came election night. In the early hours after the inconclusive election result, I decided to change the passage and preach on a section that I was pointed to after the last election in 2007. I have been a John Howard fan for many years, including tipping him to win the 1996 election when I was just 9 (although my opinion of him grew less rosy in his last term). So I took as my text, Psalm 146:3 “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal man, who cannot save.”
There is a hat tip to Mr Howard and a dig at New Zealand PM Helen Clark at the start (after the Scripture readings), but I hope they don’t detract from the substance of the message. You can listen to the audio or peruse my notes.