I’ve been thinking a lot about the next sermon series in our preaching programme recently. We’ve had a good couple of months looking at the whole question of discipleship, and our new series on James should be a good, practical follow-up, encouraging us how to apply our faith to real-life, every day situations.
But where next?
I am not a big fan of the lectionary, for a whole variety of reasons. But as I read through the passages set for September through to November, I found a theme which seems to logically follow on from our current teaching programme. All those passages in Matthew’s gospel which are so well-known and apparently so simple that focus on the return of the king – the parable of the talents, the wise and foolish virgins, the sheep and the goats. We may be very familiar with them. But if the king is coming back, then what do they say to us about the way we live now?
It’s easy to see how these passages lead us into Advent. So in Advent we are going to look at the coming of the first king, as we go through the first chapter of Luke. Again, this chapter is very well-known to us. But as I read and re-read Luke’s account of the Saviour’s birth I am struck how different is God’s kingdom from any earthly institution. We pray all too easily, “Your kingdom come” without perhaps sometimes thinking what kind of kingdom God has come to establish.
Then after Christmas I have looked at the making of an earthly king – king David. We are focusing on the early years of his life from the time he was called as a shepherd boy to the outlaw military leader on the run from king Saul. We will be looking at some well-known stories (e.g. Goliath) and some less well-known stories to see what lessons we can learn for life today, and also how the life of David points forward to the greater Son of David born some thousand years afterwards. This takes us up to Lent, and that seems far enough for now!
I hope you will find all these sermon series challenging, inspiring and relevant, and I look forward to sharing the treasures of God’s word with you!