Cut and run: Is it ever okay to skip over a passage in expository preaching?

On Sunday, our preachers were due to speak on 2 Samuel 12. It’s the Bible passage where King David’s sin against Bathsheba and Uriah is called out. The question got asked “How should we handle this?”

It was a baptism service, we were expecting guests, some young people among them, a good number who had probably not been to church or read the Bible before. The passage includes the particularly sensitive part I looked at in this article where David and Bathsheba’s child dies.  The questions raised were: Continue reading

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David’s judgement and the difficult matter of a child’s death

When David committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband murdered, he thought he had got away with it but God saw and God was not pleased. In 2 Samuel 12, God sends the prophet Nathan to pronounce judgement. David repents (you can read his confession in Psalm 51).  God forgives David, his life is spared. However, he is told:

“You won’t die for this sin.  Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the word of the Lord by doing this, your child will die.”[1] Continue reading

Did they believe?

One of the hardest situations is when an elderly relative dies and we don’t know if they put their trust in the Lord. A question came up at our youth version of #FirstLook this week. Here’s some quick thoughts. Continue reading

The media’s test question gets flunked again

So after Tim Farron and Jacob Rees-Mogg, it was Justin Welby’s turn.  Alistair Campbell asked him if he thought gay sex was a sin for an interview with GQ magazine.

Welby responds

“I don’t do blanket condemnation and I haven’t got a good answer to the question. I’ll be really honest about that. I know I haven’t got a good answer to the question. Inherently, within myself, the things that seem to me to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of relationships and loving relationships.” Continue reading

Dealing with anger and resentment in the face of injustice

Some of you are facing what seems to be terrible injustice. You have been falsely accused. People have said hurtful things to you.  In our church community, quite a few people have experienced received negative decisions about immigration or benefits. Often, it’s not just the decision that affects them but how it was made and the tone with which it was delivered Continue reading

Why did we end up talking about grief in our Sunday sermon?

Last Sunday morning, I was preaching on 2 Samuel 1. One of the key themes that came through during the sermon was “grief and mourning.” How and why did we end up talking about grief?  For me, this highlights the beauty of sequential, expository preaching. Would I have chosen to preach this passage if I was just choosing my own passage each week or selecting a series of topics to look at? Probably not, and we would have missed so much. However, we were constrained by an expository approach to look at a passage together and that’s how the application came out.  So, here are three things we might have missed if we didn’t have expository preaching. Continue reading

Reflections on grief

“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

In our sermon notes on 2 Samuel 1, we started with a few examples of “fallen heroes.” This got me thinking about the different ways that we grieve.  I want to highlight 4 ways here. Continue reading