Years ago The Mammas and the Papas sang,
“Monday, Monday….Every other day of the week is fine, yeah. But whenever Monday comes…you can find me crying all of the time….Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day….Monday, Monday…it’s here to stay.”
If you preach each Sunday, you can relate to the song. You know that Monday means starting all over again (or, Tuesday, if you take Monday’s off). I find it helpful to keep Sunday’s goal in mind each Monday morning. Since that goal is corporate worship during the teaching time (Believers responding to the revelation of God), my goal for Monday morning’s study time is always more than initial exegesis.
I recently began rereading Kugel’s, How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now. In explaining the method of ancient interpreters, He writes, “Reading Scripture, and doing what it said, was now the very essence of Judaism–and in it’s wake, Christianity. But what did Scripture mean, and what was it telling people to do?” (p. xii).
That’s my Monday morning study goal: Reading Scripture–in my case, I’m currently preaching through Luke’s Gospel–praying and studying to learn what it means and what it is telling God’s people to do.
So, on a Monday morning when I’m studying Luke 16:1-9 (Jesus’ parable of the dishonest manager), I want my initial exegesis to yield something like this:
“Lord willing, we will worship on Sunday morning by being as shrewd with God’s money as that dishonest manager was with his master’s accounts.” (cf. vv. 8-9 “…make friends…by means of…wealth, so that…”)
Long before Sunday, look at your preaching portion with the goal towards understanding what it means and what it is telling God’s people to do.
Preach well for the sake of God’s glory in the church and in Christ Jesus,
P.S. If you’re interested in reading and preaching in the Old Testament, you will find Kugel’s insights helpful (that’s an understatement). I find myself saying, Why didn’t I see that?!, more often than I like to admit.