Is there really much point in reading Hebrews 10 (lectionary: Second Sunday before Advent, Principal Service) to a non-Jewish congregation?
Gentile disciples don’t have to be circumcised, but need to learn a bit about the Old Testament and first-century Judaism to appreciate Christ to the full. That’s why Barnabas recruited rabbi Paul, who did not witness Christ’s ministry, to teach Gentile converts in Antioch.
If the congregation is mostly regular worshippers, the set Hebrews passage should be read after a two-to-three sentence introduction, and expounded in the sermon. If the congregation has many occasional worshippers, read either Jeremiah 31.31-34 on the new covenant, and preach about Christ’s death putting our relationship with God on a new footing, or Mark 15.33-39 on the tearing of the curtain, and preach about Christ’s death making God accessible.
(Canon) John Goodchild
Can your readers suggest a book for children aged about seven, on dying and bereavement?
Canon Arguile (Answers, 27 November) writes about his impressive arrangement for mutual help with his fellow clergy in sermon preparation. Has he, or anyone, arrangements for regular feedback from the congregation (“Preaching belongs to the whole church”)?
E. S. H.
Is there a handy guide on public speaking and voice projection, likely to be useful for persons taking part in leading services in church?
Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG.