So, here is my first attempt at preaching. Let me give you a little bit of background information. First of all, the text is Mark 10:35-45:

 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’ 36And he said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’ 37And they said to him, ‘Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.’ 38But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ 39They replied, ‘We are able.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’

41 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’

Though I do not read the text within the body of the sermon, it is assumed that the text was just read before I began preaching.

The second thing is that I was given a time limit of 12 minutes. I have never been in a church that had 12-minute sermons. That seems really odd to me. However, my professor insisted that his sermons are usually 12 to 15 minutes and never over 20 minutes. I found this very limiting.

Here are some of my critiques of the sermon:

1. I would have loved to walk through the text a little bit more. Though I like the things that I said, I would have rather told the story and made my points within the context of a verse-by-verse analysis. Part of my not doing this was the time limitation. Part of it was just getting caught up in my own thoughts and not focusing on the letter of the story. I definitely don’t want to get in the habit of doing that.

2. I talk way too fast on several occasions and don’t leave enough time for dramatic pauses. As I am learning, a pause feels much longer when you are the one causing it. I need to be more disciplined about letting my thoughts sit and sink in… especially in a sermon about waiting.

3. I haven’t figured out what to do with my hands yet.  I noticed that I am big on digging my fist into my open palm like I am preparing to punch someone.

If you have a comment about my sermon, please email me. I don’t really want to turn public blog comments into an open-air discussion about my preaching. I’m still a bit timid about all of this and would rather make the discussion personal.