I know how to preach to the people beside whom I worship, pray, study and serve. The people God has called me to equip for ministry. I’m not sure I know to prepare a message for strangers who are also sisters and brothers in Christ. Obviously relying heavily on the guidance of the Holy Spirit (and the local pastor) in a way that is different from my past decades of preaching.
My last sermon was at Forest Grove Christian Church (DoC) on Feb 2, 2013, the final day of my 10.5 year ministry there. Now, exactly 4 months later, I will be preaching supply for Deb Chisolm @ Central Christian Church, Dallas. I’m grateful, excited, and nervous. I’ve not preached for a congregation where I was not also the pastor in almost 20 years. Also scheduled to preach @ Ridgelea Christian in Ft. Worth on July 21.
This has got me thinking about the responsibility and authority of a guest preacher, particularly when the home pastor is not present in worship for whatever reason. I have chosen to stick with the lectionary text for 6/2 (7/21 is TBD) as it takes some of the control out of my hands, rather like drawing lots or casting the Urim and Thummin. It also saves such a great deal of time wondering and wandering about the scriptures in search of the “right” text. This narrows it down to 4 (or in the case of this Sunday 9) upon which to meditate and pray and seek guidance.
For Sunday 6/2 I have selected 1 Kings 8:22-30; Psalm 96; Galatians 1:1-12; & Luke 7:1-10. I know that Central has some big decisions ahead, so I am mindful of those and at the same time wary of stepping into a conversation that is not mine. These texts have some interesting things to say about where, why, who and how we worship.
What experience do you have with these texts that you want to share?