I have failed miserably at blogging multiple times in the past. I start strong… go for a while… miss a week or two… then I’m done. However, in the past I have never really had a reason to blog. It was something I was doing just to do it. But recently I have realized how a blog can compliment and assist my pastoral work. I often find myself making the same resource recommendations to different individuals. I find myself answering someone’s question about something the Bible says and thinking, “If they have that question others do as well.” Or, “If I didn’t do a good job communicating that in my sermon on Sunday to this person, I probably didn’t communicate it well to anyone else either.” And so I how do I offer those clarifications? Well I can always do it in the next sermon, but then that takes time and makes the next week’s sermon longer and then requires this awkward transition to this week’s passage.
On other occasions there is a difficulty in the text that could use much more explanation than I have time to offer on Sunday. Many times, if you spend time chasing the difficulty and trying to smooth it out for everyone in a sermon, you don’t have time to get to the main point of the passage. But the difficulty remains and there will always be some folks who want a more thorough explanation than what was offered on Sunday.
This past Sunday, I covered Malachi 1:2-5. Malachi 1:2-3 contains the very difficult saying: “I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated.” Now, the main point in these verses is not God’s feelings toward Esau and his descendants (Edom), but his feelings toward Jacob and his descendants (Israel). God is trying to make clear that he has made a deliberate choice for Israel to be his special people and that his choice of Israel was not based on anything special about them. I made this MAIN point very clear (I hope) in my sermon. But I also know that there are more questions lingering in people’s minds about what God means when he says “Esau I have hated.”
I also find myself coming across something pretty regularly that I would like to share with others and make some brief comments on. There are plenty of times where I see something in a passage somewhere that is not going to make it in my sermon, but I know would be helpful for a particular person or persons in my congregation, and thus helpful to others I may not be aware of.
And so for all these reasons, and more, I am going to give blogging a chance again. If I fail miserably (again)… be gracious.
Grace and peace.