Next Sunday I am preaching at Water's Edge Bible Church in West Chicago. This will be my first visit there. As always, when preaching a "one-off", the question of what to preach is difficult. Should I take out a recently preached sermon and dust it off? (Very tempting at this busy time of term). Or, does something so grab my attention that it demands to be preached? Actually, it's the latter.
Recently, I have been strongly drawn to Luke 19:1-10 - the story of Zacchaeus ( or little Z!) It is told so vividly that you can see the movie in your mind. It's therefore one of the best loved children's stories. Yet, it holds very demanding adult themes. It is not a children's story. There are themes of money, spiritual curiosity, isolation, lostness and salvation all within ten verses. And it is extraordinarily relevant to the twenty-first century.
My immersion in the story has been considerable and has benefited from reflecting on some pictures from the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries (found through Google). In Seminary Chapel on Tuesday I shall focus on two pictures and (briefly) share reflections...on my way to complete my sermon preparation.
I know some of you are highly visual - do you similarly find art sometimes helps reflection?