A word in season, how good it is!
A Summer Sermon Series on Proverbs
The warm, long days of summer - lying on a beach, hiking in the woods, or just enjoying a glass of iced tea on the porch after work – have never seemed the best days to finally read Nietzsche or review Biblical Hebrew. Likewise, summer Sundays don’t seem the best mornings to preach on Paul’s understanding of the relationship of grace and works to salvation, or to explore different doctrines of the atonement. So this July, I’ll preach on proverbs in the Bible – short sayings on daily life and the ways of world. Most will come from the book of Proverbs (which we’ve enjoyed reading at Wednesday Bible Study this spring) but I’ll also look at proverbs in the New Testament. Although short and pithy, as the Wisdom of God they can lead us into deep and refreshing spiritual waters.
July 7: Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. (Proverbs 14:34). On this Fourth of July weekend, we’ll reflect on what makes for true national greatness and cause for celebration. We’ll also sing American the Beautiful (as always) and lift up our country and its leaders in prayer.
July 14: Rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18). There are many biblical proverbs on the relationship of words – and silence - to peace and violence, wisdom and folly, righteousness and evil. These proverbs resonate in new ways now that the words we say are multiplied and amplified through email, blogs, Facebook, Smart Phones, and Twitter. Is it true that “the prudent are restrained in speech?”
July 21: Better is a little with righteousness than a large income with injustice. (Proverbs 16.8). The biblical proverbs often extol the virtue of hard work and the prosperity that can come with it. But they also teach that money isn’t everything – or even an important thing – and that wealth can be a snare as well as a blessing. We’ll reflect on some of these contradictory and fascinating teachings on money , wealth and poverty.
July 28: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12). Proverbs also speak on the ways of the heart – and the nature of joy and sadness. Written thousands of years ago they could have been written today, and will help us think about the heart’s true home.
I look forward to seeing you in the parlor this summer. And when you’re traveling, I encourage you to worship elsewhere -- your witness will be needed and welcomed wherever the body of Christ is gathered. It’s also fun to see how other people do it!
Grace and Peace,