How I Prepare a Sermon

Fr. Glenn Spencer analyzes his process of preparing a sermon.


1) This is the beginning: I read the text several times as soon as possible. I am intentionally attentive to the text. I read it over and over again at different times during the day as early in the week as possible. I look at the Greek/English parallel verse by verse and then word by word. I read it in context only after I have spent some time on the text as it stands. Later if the text is part of a paragraph, I read the whole paragraph, then I read the paragraph within the chapter and then the sections of the book. One reason the canons require graduate classroom work in both the Old and New Testaments is that it takes a long time to prepare a good sermon — years, not days. By the time you are in your study and doing research for your Sunday sermon you will have put the requisite time in to Romans or Matthew or The Revelation so that you have some understanding of what the author means to communicate to his audience. With that time and study you are then prepared to dig deep and wide for the potential meanings and applications of words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, books, libraries, cultures, and communities. 

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