Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Preacher's Block

Something happens to me from time to time. I can't write a sermon. I don't know if it's writer's block or preacher's block or both, but it's really frustrating. The first thing I think of when this happens is what might be coming between me and God. I do pray and search my heart, but sometimes there isn't anything that jumps to the front of my mind. Not that I'm ever without sin, of course. But what I'm thinking of falls more into line with sinful patterns of thinking and behaving.

So anyway I pushed through it today and finally have some traction. I'm in the middle of writing two sermons, one on community and the other on the gospel. These are things I've preached countless times, and yet it's been a tough row to hoe so far. I started off on the gospel sermon and got two pages into it when I realized that I hadn't accounted for the crucifixion and resurrection. Sheesh! Talk about overthinking it. So I put that on the shelf for now and am focusing on the community sermon.

The text for community is I Corinthians 3:16-17. This is where Paul radically reinterprets the temple. He says that the Temple of God is now the People of God, which might be acceptable to diaspora Jews, but not if he were including Gentiles, which he is; and it would probably be acceptable to most Christians, but not if he were including really bad Christians, which he also is.

The Corinthians were pretty much getting everything wrong. In the first six chapters of I Corinthians Paul addresses several of the issues of the church in Corinth. I'm taking the liberty to use six of these to answer the question: How to Destroy the Temple of God (Not that You Would Want To). That's the title of my sermon.

The six ways to destroy the Temple of God (the Christian Community) are:
  1. Form Factions
  2. Be Ashamed of the Gospel
  3. Desire Worldly Wisdom and Acceptance
  4. Harbor Sin
  5. Publicly Dispute with One Another
  6. Commit Sexual Immorality
I don't know if that's an exhaustive list, but it's what I find in the first six chapters of I Corinthians. I'll post the full manuscript when I finish.

(I'm trying something new where I include multiple links in my posts. {How's that for irony?} This could be dangerous, and I don't endorse everything to which I link, as I have tried to use a diversity of resources not called Wikipedia. I'll see how it goes.)

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