Category Archives: preLectionaries

preLectionary (for Sunday November 9, 2014)

This is a little guide for preachers who preach the lectionary, a little wind in the sails for those who might not make it to Sunday prepared. I’ll give you a push, and you steer your way into the pulpit. What you’ll find below are (1) a cluster of themes that emerge from the readings, (2) a few leading questions and (3) a few helpful links.

 

This week’s chosen readings (for November 9, 2014) are Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25; Psalm 78-1-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; Matthew 25:1–13.

Topics addressed by these verse include: God creating a people from a godless people, fearing god, serving god faithfully, family idols, choosing a god, scripture as memories of great acts of God, God’s faithfulness, yielding your heart to god, Jesus’s parables, forgotten wisdom, Christian education, passing on the faith to children, trusting God, the dead in Christ, resurrection and hope, end times, drowsy faith, having faith in the end, being alert in faith.

Themes converge more potently in staying faithful to God until the end by remembering God’s past deeds OR the challenge of family idols for long-term Christian faith. Here are a few questions to help you think through staying faithful to God by remembering God’s past deeds:

  1. Can you think of any huge moments in your life that you tend to forget about? Have there been any defining moments in your life that you haven’t though about for a long time?
  2. Why do you think that we do this? Why do we forget about the major ways that God has worked in our lives so easily? Why also do you think that the great signs and wonders recorded in the scriptures for us sometimes seem irrelevant to our lives?
  3. What do these verses say about remaining faithful to God until the end? How should the scriptures as recorded acts of God help us remain faithful? What do you think “yielding our hearts to God” means next to “keeping our lamps lit”?
  4. What are five our six ways that a person might yield their hearts to God today or this week?
  5. How can you serve as Joshua for your congregation this week, offering them a choice again to serve the LORD?

Here are a few helpful links:

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preLectionary (for Sunday October 26, 2014)

This is a little guide for preachers who preach the lectionary, a little wind in the sails for those who might not make it to Sunday prepared. I’ll give you a push, and you steer your way into the pulpit. What I’ve given you here are (1) a cluster of themes that emerge from the readings, (2) a few leading questions and (3) a few helpful links.

This week’s chosen readings (for October 26, 2014) are Deuteronomy 34.1-12, Psalm 90.1-6, 13-17, 1 Thessalonians 2.1-8, and Matthew 22.34-46.

Topics addressed by these verse include: Silencing Opponents, or the nature of having opponents in the Christian life, How law works in Christian theology, The greatest commandment worked out in church and personal life, Does Jesus think of himself as the Lord of David, Suffering for the gospel, How not to be deceitful, impure, and full of trickery in evangelism, On pleasing God and not man, power that comes from being in Christ. Relational walls and the love that is born in ministry, On Moses being a man of God, Death in the Christian life, OT Foreshadows of resurrection, The fleetingness of life, How to make a God with wrath your dwelling place, Seasons of Christian struggle–seasons of Christian joy, The importance of praying for favor for the work of our hands, Disappointment in the autumn years of our life, and The place of signs and wonders in the Christian community.

Themes converge more potently in suffering, disappointment, and having opponents in the Christian life OR the power of God among the people of God.

If you choose to take the route of preaching on suffering, disappointment, and having opponents in the Christian life, here are a few questions to think through:

  1. When in your journey have you been most disappointed in the Christian life? When have you suffered the most, especially at the hand of others?
  2. What do you think is the connection between suffering and disappointment in the Christian life? Where you see the church resisting suffering and disappointment, and why do you think we do so? At what cost?
  3. What do these scriptures say is the point of having suffering and disappointment in the Christian life? How does Moses (especially in Psalm 90 think through suffering)? —By the way the lectionary leaves out verses 7-12 in Psalm 90, apparently because it talks too much about God’s wrath toward his people. This might be a great place to help your congregants think through the deeper meaning of finding our refuge in a God that has wrath—.  Also, what do these scriptures suggest is the place of opponents in the Christian life?
  4. What are five our six practical steps people might take to embrace suffering, disappointments and enemies in the Christian life, Christian-ly?
  5. What do you think our churches would be like if people embraced suffering and disappointments with a greater Christ-likeness?

Here are a few links that might help you think through this sermon emphasis:

preLectionary (for Sunday October 19, 2014)

This is a little guide for preachers who preach the lectionary, a little wind in the sails for those who might not make it to Sunday prepared. I’ll give you a push, and you steer your way into the pulpit. What I’ve given you here are (1) cluster of themes that emerge from the readings, (2) a few leading questions and (3) a few helpful links.

Next week’s chosen readings (for October 19, 2014) are Exodus 33.12-23, Psalm 99, 1 Thessalonians 1.1-10, Matthew 22.15-22.

Topics addressed by these verses include: Jesus’s wisdom, flattery, paying taxes, nationalism, what God requires of us, complaints to God, God equipping the called, favour with God, desire to know God’s ways, God chooses a nation, presence of God with his people, Is God fickle or capricious, seeing God’s face, Lord and the nations, God’s throne, God’s awesome name, God’s justice, worship at God’s footstool, God as Father, faith, hope, and love, gospel comes in power, spirit, and wisdom, being joyful in adversity, being influencers by our faith, conversion from idols to the true and living God, Jesus delivered us from the coming wrath. Themes converge most potently around worship of God vs. our national idols or following God’s ways, which are always better than the ways of politicians.

If you choose to focus your message on worship of God vs. worship of our national idols, think about these questions (disclaimer, this is a sermon worth praying and fasting over, and using holy prudence):

  1. What are a few idols that you tend to succumb to, and what negative effects do they have on you?
  2. Try to come up with 8-10 national idols that we struggle with as nation and get ready to be brave in naming them. What harm do these national idols inflict on us?
  3. What do the chosen scriptures (above) say about our worship of God vs. worship of national idols? What is the connection in these verses between a prosperous nation and following God’s ways?
  4. What advice do you have for your congregants in resisting the worship of national idols; think of three or four practical suggestions.
  5. What do you think our country would look like if we cast down our national idols and worshipped God alone?

Here are some helpful links as you think through these questions:

preLectionary (for Sunday October 12, 2014)

This is a little guide for preachers who preach the lectionary, a little wind in the sails for those who might not make it to Sunday prepared. I’ll give you a push, and you steer your way into the pulpit. What I’ve given you here are (1) cluster of themes that emerge from the readings, (2) a few leading questions and (3) a few helpful links.

 

Next week’s chosen readings (for October 12, 2014) are

  • Isaiah 25.1-9, Psalm 23, Philippians 4.1-9, and Matthew 22.1-14

Topics addressed by these verse include: Friendship, Apocalyptic, Prayer, Peace, Mindfulness, Life as a Sacrifice, Provision, Divine Justice, Banquet, Feasting, Death Defeated, and Salvation. While you could preach on any of these topics alone, the verses cluster with more concentration around the themes of divine providence and peace, or divine justice and comfort.

If you choose to focus your message,  for example, on divine providence and peace, think about these questions:

  1. When in your life have you been backed to the wall financially or in another sphere of your life?  What did you learn from it? What event in your life drove you closest to trusting in God’s providence for you, and in what ways did this bring you peace of mind?
  2. In what ways do you think your church members struggle with deeply trusting in God’s providence? How do you see distrust in God’s providence impacting levels of anxiety and peace?
  3. What do these scriptures say about God’s providence, character, and the peace that follows in trusting this God?
  4. What ways do you think these scriptures speak to your congregants? What are three or four practical ways that people might increase their trust in God’s providence?
  5. What might you say to help your congregation dream about life as individuals and in community whose levels of peace went up and their levels of anxiety went down? What might result?

Here are some helpful links as you think through these questions: