Changing Preaching Plans

“Life happens when you are busy making other plans,” is a saying often attributed to the musician John Lennon, but he likely picked it up along the way because it also can be found in a Reader’s Digest list of Quotable Quotes from the 1950s. The quote has been circling around in my brain because I had a plan for a three-week sermon series in June that got upended by the happenings of life. Preaching plans change when the world dishes up issues that yearn for a faithful response.

First, the last sermon of my three-week series on Eco-Faithfulness in May was never completed after I caught a mild case of a COVID-19 variant that is making the rounds. I am fine, by the way, as evidenced by the fact that I have been to two out-of-town engagements between then and now. Many attentive listeners have asked to know when I’ll preach the final installment of that environmental justice series. The answer is Sunday, June 26.

In the meantime, I feel called to respond to the recent horrific incidents of gun violence in my sermon this Sunday, June 12 and to honor Juneteenth the following week by addressing the issue of racism which continues to tear at the fabric of American life and community. Sadly, the reality of violence goes hand in hand with our nation’s long history of racism.

So now it feels like our corporate life has called forth a summer series in June on three forms of violence – guns, racism, and environmental degradation. As we grapple with these complex issues from a Christian perspective, the good news is that the Bible holds before us powerful visions to inspire an alternative human community than the one making the news these days.

Please know that these are not just upcoming sermon topics, but areas of ministry in which BMPC members are deeply engaged as advocates for human and ecological welfare. The work of our Environmental Justice Committee, Anti-Racism Taskforce and Peacemaking Committee invite your faithful engagement and involvement. Just look at the announcements in the bulletin and weekly eNews, and you will find several ways you are invited to join the church’s good endeavors for a more just and peaceful world.