What a peculiar Sunday this turned out to be, at least as far as preaching goes. If you have any reason to go to the Service Info page with any regularity (https://sites.google.com/a/holtslander.com/knoxstmarks/home/service-info-year-c-2012-2013) you were probably shocked a week or so ago when you saw that I had a sermon title, “Are they all sheep?” up more than a week in advance of the Sunday involved. This is very unusual for me. I know that there are many preaching folks who have their sermons lined up much more in advance than that and blessings on them! I am not one of those folks.
So, is that the peculiarity? Not really, what is peculiar is that I obviously had something particular in mind when I put that sermon title up on the web page and between then and actually preaching it completely escaped me. C-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y. So, I didn’t preach at all but just called it a sermon-less Sunday . . . not as such. Instead, I preached “Are they all sheep?”
I would just like to point out that I have an aversion to homiletical exercises, that is, preaching “challenges” and such for the sake of themselves. I most emphatically did not use this sermon title as a shaping factor in my preaching to “see if I could do it” or anything even remotely like that. If nothing else, I preach twice a Sunday on top of a full time job, my family of my wife and three kids, and life in general, I don’t need any more challenges. Rather, I chose to take seriously the Holy Spirit’s input into that sermon title and the title’s relation to the lectionary texts for this Sunday. I am probably not the best person to evaluate the end result, but please listen to the sermons and you can let me know as you desire.
Knox Presbyterian 130421_Knox
St. Mark’s Presbyterian 130421_StMarks
If there is a theme connecting this Sunday’s sermons to last Sunday’s it might be “simplicity.” Not simplicity in the sense that if we de-complicate our lives we will be better and happier people but rather, there are some very simple things involved in being in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ that we seem to forget or overcomplicate. The gospel lesson for this Sunday is John 10:22-30 but the part I wanted us to spend most of our time on was verse 27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (New International Version) How do we know we are followers of Jesus Christ? How do we know we are his sheep? We listen. That’s it, really. Those who listen are sheep. Period.