What to preach?

Has anyone looked at next week’s lectionary?

I’m preaching on Sunday, and honestly, I’m at a loss for what to preach on. When I’m at a loss, I usually defer to the lectionary. Plus, I need to get this thing written: between the 4th holiday, a week when I have no child care after Tuesday, and packing up the apartment for a move, I figure I’d better have this one close to done maybe even on Tuesday night.

As I see it, these are my options:

  1.  I’m just not in the mood for Paul. The Romans passage seems way too heavy for a holiday weekend. Plus, it’s a short sermon (we have communion this Sunday).
  2. Same for the Matthew passage. As Erik just said, there are some Jesus-sayings that are pretty nutty, and I’m not sure I feel like preaching my way out of that corner this week.
  3. Isaac and Rebekah. Sure. We had the Genesis passage this week for the sermon. And it’s a great story. I just have no idea where it would go.
  4. Song of Solomon. Yep. The sex passage. (And, since I drew the straw for the “thou shalt not commit adultery” sermon when we did a series on the 10 Commandments, I would only be solidifying my reputation and record as the pastor who’s said “Sex” in the pulpit most often.)
  5. Combine 3 & 4, do something about what could possibly redemptive about sexual attraction. Do my best to keep it PG enough that no one is forced to give the birds and bees talk earlier than they planned to.
  6. Ignore the lectionary. Do something for the 4th, kind of a God and Country thing. I’d probably use Psalm 146:

Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD his God.

I think this would likely be more controversial than the sex-themed sermons. Because my general take on God and country is “get your nationalism out of my church.” I don’t think people go for that so much around the 4th of July.

What do you think? Preachers, what are you preaching? Non-preachers, what would like to hear?

8 Responses to “What to preach?”

  1. Meg Says:

    I think Psalm 146 makes for a kick @$$ sermon on the 4th. I preached it last year on the weekend of the 1st (which, in Canada, is basically the same deal as the 4th.)

  2. Meika Says:

    I’d vote for #6. I tend to have the same take on God and country, but I don’t think you necessarily have to treat it from that angle. It’s a time where there’s a lot of nationalism floating around – so (how) should we celebrate our national identity as Christ-followers? In addition to Ps 146, you have the discussion of our being strangers in a foreign land. On the other hand, there are the bits that talk about honoring rulers as those whom God set in authority over us.

    You know, our Reformedness allows – no, requires :) – us to consider how all things might be redeemed – even nationalism. In all seriousness, I think this is a good topic *because* of all the God-bless-America drivel that flies around so mindlessly. Our national identity is a huge part of who we are; reconciling this with who we are as Christians strikes me as a very worthwhile and apropos topic.

  3. Katherine Says:

    I am at the same loss. I finished up a really fun, invigorating series on Creation. I’m taking vacation July 13th. So what the heck to do in that odd holiday weekend between??

    Maybe psalm 146. But since this was also our music director’s last Sunday, we’re a little too worn down for much by way of prophetic preaching. I just do not know.

  4. ms rev or not Says:

    i think i’m doing genesis, but i’m not sure yet. i’m about to start seriously contemplating.

  5. susan Says:

    I’d go with #6. I just read a great series of articles about the Belhar Confession in Perspectives…that could be a nice theological bridge for your piece given the recent discussion on it at GA last week. Good luck!

  6. Dan Vos Says:

    Hi Erica,

    Lisa regularly reads your blog and drew my attention to this, a little after your hoped-for deadline. My humble advice, if you are considering option #6, would be to look at 1 Peter 2:13-17. Particularly verse 17, which says, “Show the proper respect to everyone, love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” I like it, because it relativizes patriotism (notice what comes last on that list, even though Peter has just been talking about submitting to the authority of government). So I think there is room to talk, both positively and negatively, about our relationship to God and country.

    I find (as someone who only gets a little bit of US network TV in my life) that the Air Force has a galling tag line “Above All” on their current advertising. If I were preaching on 1 Peter this weekend, that would probably work its way in as an illustration of a line being crossed. However, I’m working on Genesis 3 for the morning and Galatians 3:26-4:7 for the evening.


  7. terry Says:

    Your sermon really brought it home with the part about Zora falling asleep in your arms while the fireworks were going. She was in good hand and not a worry!

  8. Stefanie Says:

    I realize this is post 4th, but I wanted to comment. I was on vacation for the 4th–so I didn’t have to write a sermon. However, I attended my husband’s home church that weekend. I was sad to see how much we seemed to “worship” America before we ever even talked about God. There was a 15 minute special music presentation at the very beginning of the service that talked about “how glad I am to be an American” etc. Sigh. I would have definitely preached about God and country–we are citizens of the kingdom of God first, America second.