Preachers tend to have favorite passages and topics for preaching and teaching. If you don’t preach from the Revised Common Lectionary each week, it can be easy to fall into predictable patterns that limit your congregation’s exposure to the full range of God’s Word. We all have blind spots, and it’s worth asking where we might be missing the opportunity to address a pressing need.
“Asbury’s zeal for God and his commitment to preach and teach the gospel is now legendary, but it was never meant to be extraordinary – it was meant to be the ordinary work of everyday Methodists.”
I wondered how hungry the man was to steal an egg salad sandwich from a convenience store. I also wondered how he would have reacted to the customer’s kindness. He left without knowing his debt was paid. He was free to go. The food belonged to him.
My first appointment out of seminary was the hardest appointment that I’ve ever had. It wasn’t because the people were hard to pastor: they…
This week, on your lunch break or between meetings, while you're folding laundry or recuperating from surgery, the must-see experience is the New Room…
It has become cliché to tell people to practice what they preach—that is, to live according to their words. But increasingly we may need…
The Gospel is not just that Jesus died to take away our sin and make us clean-happy-pure people, but that God came to redeem us in our mess and to include us in the work God is doing to mend all of creation.
Unfortunately, the word holiness conjures up for many people images of repressive legalism, dour dogma, and joyless judgmentalism. Much of the holiness movement seems to have forgotten that John Wesley constantly insisted that holiness and happiness are inseparable. Indeed, one Wesley’s most memorable descriptions of God was “the fountain of happiness, sufficient for all the souls he has made.”
Dennis Kinlaw reminded you of that fountain when you talked to him.
These hymns, like the psalms, come from or speak to different experiences – some quite specific, others more general – and they express a wide variety of feelings toward God, ranging from thanksgiving and adoration to supplication to bitter grief. The hymn I came upon that had a reference to Jesus weeping was under the heading of “For a Child in the Small-Pox.” In the midst of what would have been an agonizing time for the parents as they prayed through tears that God might bring healing to their child, Charles offered lyrics that help us to embrace this sort of grief and to not hold back in pouring out our hearts to God.
What were the specific needs of our town, what were the specific passions and gifts of our church members, and how might they converge?