I was very fortunate to study homiletics under Professor Milton Crum. His critique of many of the sermons of his students was most often: “Where is the good news?” Regrettably, I still discover that I am preaching one of those student sermons.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news. Jesus has paid the price for our sins and has freed us from the bondage and power of sin. Do we believe that? If so, are we excited to tell others about this wonderful news? The dos and don’ts have no meaning to us outside of the cross. Sermons should be challenging but they must also be inspiring! They should encouraging. They should be uplifting. They should be more about what Jesus has done and is doing for us than our own brand of legalism. The Pharisees were very accomplished in the latter and Jesus severely rebuked them.
The oral interpretation of scripture is another matter. When we read the Gospel during the worship service, do we try to sound like James Earl Jones of Charlton Heston? Let us use our own voices, but let there be a personal joy and excitement as we express our faith in the saving acts of Jesus.
Will our parishioners ask us: “Where is the good new?”