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what’s the story? – andy shudall

I don’t like the bible, oh no . . .

Let’s preach the Bible, big, mouthfuls of body building, stamina inducing, breath taking chunks. Let’s climb steep heights of dizzying proportions and challenging ascents of tricky terrain. Let’s take whole books and whole testaments and even the whole thing in single bite sermons. Let’s preach overviews of doctrines of Trinity and Judgement and Mercy and Grace. Let’s be big in our ambitions and bold in our proclamations. Let’s do it…

It felt big bold and adventurous. It felt daunting and demanding.

We’ll call the series “What’s the Story” and run it over a decade and cover 66 books.

It all seems like an adventure until you get on the journey.

Preaching the whole bible is like drinking from a fire hydrant: there’s too much to cope with and so you dance in the torrent and enjoy the exhilaration.

Preaching a whole testament is like ordering a taster dish – you get to enjoy a flavour of what’s on offer but are never truly satisfied.

Preaching whole books is like running the Tongariro Crossing (or so I imagine!); it takes exacting preparation, careful pacing and is both exhausting and exhilarating but can leave some wondering why you bothered.

Eight books in, 12 months on, two sermon series down, I don’t regret it and I do. I’ve heard better overviews but not sure my congregation have. I’ve completed the first lap in many ways: 1 Samuel to Nehemiah to complete of the history books in 2018 and four gospels in the same year, I think.

A decade to preach 66 books – I feel like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, more than is reasonable and more than is sensible. But aren’t all adventures a little bit mad, maddening and marvelous in exactly that kind of way.

I’m developing new muscles in preaching – things that I didn’t know would or could hurt in the process are aching and painful. BUT people are growing and inspired (and in truth some are perplexed and bored) and the whole council of God is being preached to the whole people of God across the whole spectrum of life.

I don’t like the bible, oh no. . .

I LOVE it.

Oh yeah!

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