Tuesday, June 12, 2007

5 Benefits of Preaching on a Treadmill...

1. You get a workout while you preach.

2. It appeases those who prefer you to stay in one place so that they don't have to exercise their eye muscles following you across the stage.

3. It requires you to talk a whee-bit slower...

4. If you're talking about "running" or the Scriptures that refer to life as a "race," the message is demonstrated rather than merely 'talked' about.

5. It's fun... And, I've always wanted to preach in shorts and a T-Shirt on a Sunday morning...

The Bible is a book explosive with imagery and metaphor. Any image or metaphor is only as strong as the connection between the image and the reality it represents is clear. Paul uses the metaphor of "running a race" on a number of occasions. The sport of running is something that the Apostle had working knowledge of, and he assumed those reading his letters would also.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

“24-Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25-Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26-So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misers his punches. 27-I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”

Corinth was the site of the Isthmian Games, second only to the Olympics. It is believed that Paul himself had been in Corinth during the games of A.D. 51 and, according to Gordon Fee, may even have made tents for the visitors and contestants needing accommodations.

Paul states, that every person competing enters into strict training.

All of us have ran at some point in our life, but few ever enter into "training" for a race. So how do we cross the gap of time, culture and context? Sometimes the best way to build bridges of comprehension is as we engage Scripture with creative re-enactment of what's being said. Perhaps watching a person run for forty minutes speaks just as loud a message about endurance, running, intentionality, sweat, perspective and the mindset we are to have in this "race," as the words used to describe the process. Often, that which is silent, but seen, is louder than that which has volume and is spoken.

Sunday, I did just that... Run on a treadmill for forty-some minutes, in front of some 500 people, while talking about Training, Running, and the cycles of life we all go through...

What was your experience?

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