Today I wrote my opening thoughts for Sunday's sermon. As I have mentioned before, I am challenging myself to preach on the Epistle readings this summer. SOme weeks the opening is obvious (next week is one) but this weeek, not so much. This weeks reading is 2 Corinthians 6:1-13. I spent a good portion of time this morning trying to work out what this passage had to say to us today. BUt then it struck me.
Maybe what this passage can do is remind us that faith isn't always easy. Maybe it can remind us that it isn't supposed to be easy. In a world where Patty and I are the youngest adults in the church on many Sundays and I still get into debates about why not saying the Lord's Prayer in school is the right thing we may need to be reminded that faith isn't about being part of the cultural center.
SOmetime in the next few months I need to raise issues of vision and mission. I need to point out that while we may have trouble meeting our budget, money isn't the problem (in fact I may well argue nex week that part of the problem is we aren't doing, and therefore aren't spending, enough). The problem is that we have trouble getting excited, or showing that the church excites us, or passing on the message that there is something here that is worth sacrificing for. Maybe talking about Paul's suffering and struggle can start that. Or maybe not. I really don't know yet.
Mind you, I am cheating a little and doing a bit of an introduction to Paul in the first part of the sermon. HE is after all arguably the most influential theologian of the CHristian Scripture and while we may assume that people knows who he is and why he wrote all these letters I am not sure that is true anymore. So many of us have become Biblically illiterate these days.