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Summer's Coming....Yeah!




 

Heading into summer, most pastors are weary. We’ve run the gauntlet, by May. Most of us have run several gauntlets, actually. We crank up a lot of energy in the fall to begin the new program year. We make Advent special and give Christmas its foundation – not an easy job in a secular season infused with commercial messages. So, we really put on a full court press to keep Jesus at the center of our celebrations. Before the New Year was rung in for long, we pivot to Lent and look for ways to lead a spiritual quest in the 40 days leading to Easter. Then, we pastors pull out the stops in Holy Week and preach out hearts out for Easter. We navigate Confirmation, Children’s Sunday, and Pentecost all while baptizing, visiting and companioning people who grieve. We strive to listen at meetings and offer advice gently.

 

Here we are at the end of another year where we strived to bring hope to this cynical world. The pace is about to shift and the peace of summer calls, not only to our people, but to us.

 

We long for space to find our own refreshment, and inspiration. We look forward to weekends with less performance pressure. The summer is not usually the busy season in the pews, but we like to think that everyone who comes to worship comes hungry for the bread of life.

 

Where to turn and what to say?  Hmmm?  The task is made harder if we feel like we’re squeezing a dry orange.

 

But there are terrific sermon ideas, hiding in plain sight. There are stories that almost preach themselves right in the Lectionary. You find them in the Old Testament options. These readings take us back in time, and yet they raise questions that have haunted humans for centuries. Rich with heroes who struggle to be heroic, the passages can be overlooked but they are full of wisdom, especially if you resist the temptation to search for a pious moral. They are much more honest than that, which is why they grab people.

 

Skeptical?

 

Let’s take a closer look at the readings for this summer in Year B. Here we find the sequence about Samuel, David and Solomon. Preaching from these passages takes us on a great dive into Israel’s history. Here are a few ideas that might be fun.

 

 

1.     I Sam. 2:1-10  May 31 – Navigating Life’s Disappointments. Hannah and Eli both had parenting issues. Hannah could not conceive and Eli raised children who did not turn out the way he hoped.

2.     I Sam. 3:1-10  June 2 – Hearing God’s Call Anew. This is a story about a little boy who hears a call from God in the night. Every call has the sheen of newness and brings youthful enthusiasm.

3.     I Sam. 8:4-11, 16-20  June 9 – Leaders with Integrity. This summer people everywhere will be weighing in on the topic of leadership. Let’s look at what the Bible says. The question of spiritual maturity and political savvy is old as time.

4.     I Sam 15:34-16:13  June 16 -What God Sees in Us. When Samuel anoints David, he has trouble identifying the best person amid a crowd of handsome young men. But God reminds the prophet, Samuel, that God sees into our hearts. What does God see in your heart?

 

These stories preach themselves. Here’s to some new possibilities this summer, a summer when you and your people can take a journey of faith each week.

 

Traveling mercies!

 

Susan  

 

 

If you want more liturgical support for this idea

contact me at susan@clergy2clergy.com

We forming a group of pastors who want some group support as they explore this possibility.  

 

 

 

 

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