Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hunting for Sermon Material

I am working on a sermon for this coming Sunday based on the lectionary readings of Philippians 2:1-13 and Matthew 21:23-32. The first reading from Philippians is a passage about having the attitude of Christ in our treatment of one another. The second reading contains a parable about two sons, one who did what he said he wouldn't do and the other who didn't do what he said he would. As I am trying to get my head and heart about these passages, I have jotted down some initial notes and reactions. This is what I have so far:

Having the proper attitude can be interpreted differently depending on who you ask and who is doing what needs to be done. Take Matthew’s text for example, there tax collectors and prostitutes acted more holy than the venerated priests and elders of the synagogues. Having the proper attitude also implies (according to Jesus) that the attitudes will motivate proper behavior. What particular attitudes accomplish this feat?

What are some ways we can be Christ-like? Can this be subjective?

What are some ways that are definitely NOT Christ-like?

Find some examples of ne’er-do-wells who did good things to the consternation of what others may have expected.

* * * *

So, I decided to Google the word 'ne'er do well' and see what I came up with. I found this gem on Urban Dictionary.com that made me laugh out loud. Mind you, it's very offensive and contains vulgarity. I doubt that'll worry anyone who reads this blog but in the event you can't even look at vulgarity, then don't follow the link there. However, if you don't care, maybe it'll be funny to you.

Anyways, so I have lots to think about this week and will begin writing my draft on Thursday. This is how I usually prepare for my sermons: I draft a sermon and lectionary prep 3-months in advance that selects the Scriptures for the particular Sunday. I then come up with a working sermon theme, and then, the week before the sermon is due, I begin to let the sermon ideas formulate and froth in my head. I am at the frothing stage now.

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