July 20, 2009

the usual monday routine

I probably should have noted in my post from last week, "A Day in the Life" that not everyday starts at 430 or ends in the waiting room at the mechanics. Today is a more typical Monday - catching up on emails, thinking about my homily for Wednesday's healing service, and deciding which lesson to focus on for Sunday.

This week offers three interesting options (of those we've already selected - and the Psalm is nice too, but I have a standard policy to not preach the psalm - not sure why, just a rule I have).

2 Samuel tells the story of David and Bathsheba complete with a peeping Tom, impure extramarital sexual relations, an "oopsie" pregnancy, and conspiracy to commit murder. It is one of those lessons you read and say, "do I think the congregation will hear this lesson and be so stunned that I have no choice but to preach on it?"

In Ephesians we hear Paul's prayer for the Church in Ephesus. It is full of beautiful language that we have gotten very comfortable using - God's riches in glory, the bredth, length, heighth and depth of God's love for us; His power to do infinately more that we can ask or imagine. One of those lessons that you read and say, "Paul' s wordiness is on the level of Mark Twain, but sometimes his poetry is just magnificent."

Finally, the lesson from John's Gospel that fills in the gap we left in Mark's gospel las week with the feeding of the 5000 and Jesus walking on water. The sort of lesson you read and say "a) why didn't we have part of this last week instead of 2 paragraphs of transition scenes and b) which do I choose the 5000 or the walking on water bit?"

All three have their merit and all three have their challenges. It is a Sunday where the temptation to touch on all three is strong, but the knowledge that gong that way will result in one confused preacher and 175 or so confused worshippers. More prayerful consideration is required, but it should be a week full of fun research, exegetical wrangling, and several re-writes (though I'm hoping to avoid the Sunday morning at 5am rewrite from the last time I preached).

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