Tag Archives: church

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:

Reflections with Pastor Ryan Strebeck: on Acts 4.32-5.2

Pastor Ryan Strebeck shares “Church of the Resurrection” (22.59).

Find more of Rev. Strebeck’s Sermons: Here

Acts 4:32-5:2

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.