Sunday, April 06, 2008

Poetry and Sermons

In today's sermon, not only did the preacher quote poetry (Swinburne's Hymn to Prozerpine and Henley's Invictus), but the passage of Scripture also contain references to poetry.

What a providential hat-tip to National Poetry Month!

We had a guest minister while our own was attending the baptism of a new grandchild (JCM V). He was such a treat. The Reverend Bob Lester presented a bit of a travelogue while he exposited Acts 17.

Having recently visited Athens himself, he was able to describe graphically the Aerogopolis where Paul spoke to the men of Athens at Mars Hill.

Verse 16:
Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirits was being
provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols.

The apostle Paul quoted three poets (Epimenides, Aratas, and Cleanthes) in order to create some common ground for approaching his audience. While he may have tickled their ears with his skillful use of their verses, Paul (and our preacher) hit them (and us) right between the eyes with a clear presentation of the Gospel.

The heart of apostolic preaching is the life, death, and resurrection of our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Not heaven, or whatever a believer can gain by believing.

So, I will spend some time familiarizing myself with a poem or two by the above-referenced antiquarians (all unknown to me as I took Latin in highschool, not Greek).

But I will spend more time meditating on and praying the Word of God, specifically Acts 17:30-31

Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.

Read that aloud.

Several times.

Emphasizing different words for effect.

Be provoked.


  1. Does Bob Lester attend your church? or does he live elsewhere?

    We are listening to series on Matthew. For some reason I think the pastor must be preparing to write a New Testament survey...

  2. Hmmm, I thought your pastor was *retiring* in July? Will he finish by then?

    Here's a link where you can read a short bio about Bob....

    There may be several you want to read :)

  3. Our pastor is merely stepping back while the new guy will be taking over a large portion. Our pastor seems to have trouble not preaching ;-)

    Thanks for the link.