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What to preach…

August 3, 2013

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So… what to preach???  Here it is Saturday and I am still wrestling with two sermons.  One utilizes the Lectionary passages (which I have a hard time reconciling – Hosea 11:1-11; Luke 12:13-21) and the other addresses the words of Paul on the Sacrament of Communion which we are celebrating tomorrow (1 Corinthians 11:17-34).

The first speaks of God’s love in spite of or over and against Israel’s disobedience, looking forward to the day when God will establish them in their homes (in an eternal manner) and yet holds forth Jesus telling the man who has amassed such wealth as to need additional barns that he is a fool (really strong as in more like “you abject moron,” “you stupid idiot”) and that tonight his life will be taken from him as it is in the case of those who are rich in this life but spiritually impoverished.

The second addresses the presumptiveness of the believers who felt they deserved more because they had given more.  The likely correlate in today’s church would be those who think they deserve their seats in the pews because they’ve always sat there and who refuse to move to allow others a comfortable seat… And who then enter into the Sacrament in an unworthy manner.  The trouble it seems was that there were those who did not perceive that the Sacrament was just that a Sacrament.  They likely assumed it was just some memorial meal.  Or perhaps they weren’t genuine believers.  At any rate, by partaking of the Sacrament in such an unprepared state they ate and drank condemnation on themselves causing weakness, illness and even death (“falling asleep” – not because of the sermon!)  Welcome to the grace of God… tread lightly.

Both are pretty strong words addressed to people who considered themselves the “‘true believers” the established religious people…

Fortunately the lawn needs to be mowed.  I doubt that the Property Committee ever realized what a holy instrument they purchased in that John Deere riding mower.  More sermons have been worked over, more prayers made, and more decisions enlightened on the seat of the mower, than on my knees, truth be told.  The Holy Spirit of God is gracious, and will make a way.  I’ve never, ever, been disappointed.  For when I am weak, He is strong.

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