Tonight was my Intro to Preaching class. I love this class. The teacher, Dr. Lomax, is energetic and he engages the class in conversation instead of talking at us. His assignments are going to be the most challenging for me, I think, but in a good way.
For those who don’t know, exegesis is a major component — some would likely say the foundation — of a well prepared sermon. Exegesis, pronounced EX-see-gee-sis, is a “critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially a religious text” according to Wikipedia. My preaching professor concurs.
Our assignment for next week is a three to five page exegetical paper on our selected text for the semester. Last week we had to declare a text for the semester, from about 15 Dr. Lomax pre-selected. I chose Joshua 1, so to speak. I went through all of the choices Dr. Lomax gave us and looked them up. I read each of the texts and waited for one to choose me. When I read Johsua 1 I knew it was the one that spoke to me, but I looked up the others just so I could say I did.
If you don’t know the story of Joshua, you might want to check him out. He’s first introduced to us in Exodus and his story continues through the book that bears his name. He’s put in some pretty interesting situations and asked to do some pretty heavy things. My job is to take Joshua 1 and “unpack it,” as Dr. Lomax would say, or interpret the text. This is not an easy assignment. Interpreting the text is a serious, serious undertaking. So I’m going to need your prayers and support over the next seven days as I work through this text and this text works through me.
If any of you are so inclined, take a few minutes and read Joshua 1. Tell me what you think the first chapter is about. I’ll share more of my thoughts on it in my next posting.