Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Preaching through Hebrews 1-6

Working through Hebrews 1-6. It's been a real treat.

I've noticed a lot of variation in the focus of the series - an alternating of explanation of who Jesus is and warnings of listening to him. What's got me curious is how this worked in the overall structure. I have an article from Joosten that I'm hoping to read that might enlighten me, and Ellington flagged it as a point of debate.

My current theory is that the first 6 chapters are more than a prelude. They establish the broader framework (the things that the Hebrews should already have known) and that 7 and following delve into the further things - the bigger implications of who Jesus is - that the Hebrews should be delving into by now.

But as far as preaching goes, it's been a very helpful book to work through. Chapter 1 was great pre-Christmas - recognising Jesus as more important than anything else. 2 worked really well in contrast to New Year's resolutions - the Christian life is not constantly resolving to "do better" but constantly turning in dependence to Jesus. And 3-4 was a very helpful exhortation as people were beginning to plan their year - keep making time to listen to God's promise.

It's going to be a shame to stop at chapter 6.