As mentioned the other day, I’ll be layspeaking this Sunday at Mt. Olivet UMC, my father’s church, so that he and my mother can spend the holiday weekend in Gatlinburg.
I’m not quite finished with the sermon yet, but I’ve made a good start and I went ahead and gave Dad the title last night so that he could make up the bulletin. I have chosen Psalm 46 from among this week’s lectionary passages, and the title is “Surviving the Tsunami.”
My father doesn’t always stick to the lectionary, and most small rural churches like Mt. Olivet couldn’t care less whether a visiting layspeaker goes by the lectionary or pulls a favorite sermon out of the file cabinet. But I try to follow the lectionary whenever I get enough advance notice to write a new sermon; I think it’s good discipline. Instead of preaching about what I find interesting, using the lectionary forces me to listen to what God might be saying to me in the scriptures. I think that’s the case this week; some of my best sermons have been preaching to myself, with everyone else eavesdropping.