One essential step in my sermon preparation process is reading the book of which the preaching passage is a part. I find it a discipline to hold off on reading commentaries and sit with the text itself. This is easier with a short book like Joel, from which this Sunday’s Old Testament lectionary reading comes.
I find myself more focused to read through and outline the book in analogue fashion. Here’s what it looked like for me yesterday morning:
(Having fine writing implements like a fountain pen and nice paper helps!) I have since transferred my book outline to MindNode, from which I’ll continue my sermon planning. Starting device-free is important (and really enjoyable) for me.
Here’s my two-page provisional outline of the book of Joel, complete with a misspelling of “devastation”: