One of the signal honors of my life was receiving an invitation to preach at the 120th Anniversary Homecoming for Lindsley Avenue Church of Christ in Nashville in October 2007. I blogged about it then, and promised to upload my sermon. I do not remember why I did not upload it, but I did not. I searched, and I found it and I uploaded it to the Spoken Word page.
In 2007 I was freshly out of a deep dive into homiletics. I utilized Paul Scott Wilson’s ‘four-page‘ method to bring a word to the church. I wrestled with what to say. After I settled on a text from 2 Corinthians 4, Wilson’s heuristic gave me a way to approach how to say it. His model helped me frame the sermon. I think the sermon holds up well. I don’t think I could preach it any better today than I did then. I would not change anything except to tighten the language.
The manuscript I scanned and uploaded is the copy I took into the pulpit. It bears a few marks I inserted to help me remember where to place emphasis. I did not read it; but I preached it as written. No recording was made, so you will have to supply emphasis. Looks for the marks and you will be able to get close.
If asked how to preach an anniversary sermon or a homecoming sermon, this is what I could offer. If asked how to incorporate very local congregational history into a sermon, this is how I did it, once. Depending on the task at hand, you could do this very differently. In this case, my charge was to look as much forward as backward. In this case, I was preaching to a church very much at the margins of conventional Nashville Church of Christ culture. In this case, as is true in every case if you look closely and honestly enough, there was a great deal to discourage you. A great deal. But the hope of the gospel surpasses our disappointments. Thus the sermon.