Chris Erdman’s Countdown to Sunday: a Daily Guide For Those Who Dare To Preach is, as you might guess from the title, primarily for preachers. In it Erdman suggests a weekly rhythm for preachers working with the text. He offers specific suggestions for each day of the week leading up to Sunday.
In the section on Wednesday, Erdman suggests “there are no innocent texts in the Bible. Every word, sentence, and page has an agenda.” He goes on to suggest exegetical work on Wednesdays that discerns “the mischief this text wants to do among us come Sunday.”
But it wasn’t the thoughts on exegesis, per se, that caught my attention in this chapter. It was the prayer Erdmans suggested for the hours in which the preacher is discerning “how Sunday’s text wants to form the people of God.”
“Lord, why this text? Why, among so much other material, was this little piece included in the Bible? I know it’s not innocent, but I’m not yet clear about what it’s guilty of trying to make of your people.”
I love that expression, “no innocent text.”
And I love that prayer, “What is this text trying to make of the people?”
And since it’s Wednesday and Sunday is closing in…
It’s time to pray!