“We preach Christ crucified”

March 31, 2012

I’m sure I’m not the only preacher who is filled with apprehension every Easter season as we approach Passion Week, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. Every year I think, “What can I say that I haven’t said before? What new insights can I glean from these scriptures? What if I’m unoriginal (by which I mean boring)?” As one preacher friend said to me once: “When it comes to Easter, there is no ‘big reveal,'” by which he meant, nothing we say is going to surprise anyone.

Well, I’m putting those thoughts out of my mind. If you come to Vinebranch tomorrow or next week, or perhaps just read or watch my sermons on this blog, I’m telling you right now: I’m going to be unoriginal. I’m going to repeat myself. I’m going to offer no new insights.

The old insights are just fine, thank you very much. I’m reminded of that exuberant southern gospel song, “Victory in Jesus.” The opening line goes: “I heard an old, old story/ How a Savior came from glory/ How he gave his life on Calvary/ To save a wretch like me.”

I can’t improve much upon that old, old story. I’m not going to stress about it. St. Paul’s words are appropriate here:

When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I didn’t come preaching God’s secrets to you like I was an expert in speech or wisdom. I had made up my mind not to think about anything while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and to preach him as crucified. [1 Corinthians 2:1-2 CEB]

If it’s good enough for Paul, it’s good enough for me.

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