Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Trying to find my sermon

I preach next Sunday.

I am trying to figure out what exactly to preach on...I have until...tomorrow to figure it out.

Here are the possibilities:

Ezekiel 37--Valley of Dry Bones
I would be pulling this one out from the collection of sermons past at other places. It is a really good sermon, but I am also thinking about the following....

Lectionary Texts
Exodus 19--Getting Water From a Rock
Psalm 78
Matt. 22--By What Authority and Parable of two sons?
Phil 2: 1-11

The advantages: Allowing the passages to be given to me instead of making the message about me or my agenda.

The disadvantages: These are downer passages, and I am already in a pretty down place in my life right now.

Also, this has the danger of having me share some of my anger and my hurt with the congregation about our life together, and the boss is all about being positive.

Anyway...your thoughts could be helpful.


The Gig said...

What a coinsidence (SP) -- our pastor preached on the Valley of the dry bones this past Sabbath.

I don't have to tell you to pray to God for an answer.

About your comment on my blog: I have been trying to do things to my house in hopes to sale it some day. I will definitely have to pray on that one.

becca said...

I would echo the prayer idea, and encourage you that sometimes your frustrations are best addressed in public. But sometimes they are best addressed in private. Only you and God know which is which.

Lynn always chides me when I speak about my frustrations with our congregation from the pulpit, saying that "the pulpit isn't the place to air dirty laundry". And I can see the wisdom in that (visitors lost and all that). But I also believe in being authentic when you preach, and if you aren't happy, you shouldn't have to pretend to be happy. You should get to be real, after all they put you through. (the royal "they", I guess...)

On a side (and related) note, I've been reading Jeremiah lately, and I've decided that he would be compeltely unpopular in today's church (as, I'm sure, many of the prophets would have been) because he's not very positive. Does that make his message invalid? No. Sometimes we need a little dose of reality to wake us up. Christianity shouldn't look like a drug-stupor-happy-binge, because then it isn't real, and people can tell it isn't real.

In the end, though, you have more wisdom than I do about these things, and I'd trust your gut.

Brotha Buck said...

Im so proud of myself. I actually made it through a whole book. Galatians. And actually I listened to in on biblegateway.com. But none the less...

Anyway, theres an idea.

rubyslipperlady said...

I will pray for you as well, my Fine Friar Friend. We've been going through a bit of chastising from the pulpit lately and while I think it was done poorly, it should be done. If the pastor (priest, rabbi, preacher, whatever you will) cannot and is not authentic, how can those being led by that person be expected to be so? I believe that the pulpit is a place to offer wisdom, encouragement, honesty, authenticity and admonishion -- all in their own time and place.

I pray God will show you what time it is for next Sunday.

By the way, sometimes the Lord provides us a way to deal with our sadness, anger, frustration, depressions, etc., by leading us to face it head on and walk, or run, right through it all.

Hugs to ya, friend!

Kim Traynor said...

Whatever you have to say, you want it to go straight to the hearts of those listening, and if they detect bitterness of hurt feelings they are more likely to put up their defenses.

I don't think being positive and addressing areas in which the congregation need to grow are mutually exclusive.

If, when you speak to them about the issue, you do so in a way that confirms in them their own potential to, with God's help, get better, then they are more likely to walk away energized and empowered to change.

Cast a vision - congregations often need someone to help them imagine how their community could be even more loving and Christ-like. Imagining a positive outcome for a situation has been proven to be very effective in determining behavior.

Of course I've never had to give a sermon before! I hope God sends a bit of peace and inspiration your way before Sunday.