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:
- 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?
- 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?
- 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”?
- What are five our six ways that a person might yield their hearts to God today or this week?
- 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:
- Christian Winman on Finding God http://www.onbeing.org/program/remembering-god/feature/love-bade-me-welcome-gazing-abyss/4662
- Steve Givens Short on Memory https://www.livingfaith.com/devotion-03-14-2012
- Pope Benedict on Memory and Faith http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/faith-will-grow-if-we-remember-god-s-faithfulness-says-pope
- Mel Chandler on Experiencing God http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705396338/Reader-Voices-Why-we-must-learn-to-remember-and-experience-God.html?pg=all