Today some members of the worship team are meeting to start their planning for worship on August 21st. I promised to put early details on my blog so that I can interact with them as preparations proceed.
On Sunday August 21st. the sermon title is: "You're blessed at the end of your rope" - the Eugene Petersen paraphrase of the first beatitude (Matt. 5: 3). Actually, I shall preach on the first two beatitudes:
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.
In developing these beatitudes I shall be spending time elsewhere in the gospels. Mark 10:35-52 vividly shows contrast of attitudes between the disciples ("rich in spirit"!) and blind Bartimaeus (poor in spirit). For the second beatitude I shall reflect on the significance of Jesus weeping (John 11: 35,36; Luke 19: 41).
Past readers of my blogs know that I seek to crystallize my sermon preparation by defining the sermon's main impact. Always, it can change as preparation continues!
By the grace of God, this sermon will SAY - Christian living begins when spiritual beggars admit their need, and those who grieve bring their tears before God.
And this sermon will DO - invite hearers to be real with God in order to receive blessing as never before.
At yesterday's planning meeting many suggestions were already being made about the shape of the service and how its outcome - "invite hearers to be real with God" might best be implemented. I am so grateful to the team for working on this and, of course, any suggestions from you will help my preparation too. If you do not want to post publicly, please use my personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for sharing on this new journey.