Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thoughts on Baptism of the Lord

This is just me sitting in my virtual coffee house throwing out random thoughts as I do research/prayer/thinking about this Sunday's sermon:

Scripture: Genesis 1:1-5; Psalm 29; Acts 19:1-7; Mark 1:4-11
Working Title: The Ten Things They Don't Teach You in Seminary

I am preparing this sermon as my 'candidating' sermon which is a big word meaning: they vote on whether or not they want me as their next pastor. No pressure.

- Water was first. (Gn)

- Our God is a strong God. Our God is a powerful God. Our God is a DANGEROUS God. (Ps)

- I am now totally weirded out because a commentary I just read, written in the past year, totally echoed what I preached on Psalm 29 in 2003. So if I use excerpts from that sermon again do I have to prove I wrote it first?

- Do I incorporate Will's baptism? Renewal of everyone's vows? Jesus?

- How much Book of Order is too much for a sermon? I'm guessing it doesn't take much.

- With 10 things I think at least 5 need to be quick hit funnies... maybe even 7 sprinkled throughout.

- The serious ones: Professing our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior often bears repeating, childhood Christian nurture counts, there are uncomfortable ramifications to inviting God's spirit to invade our lives, Don't downsize God just to make God easier to handle, focus on God, enjoy the highs of our faith because ordinary time is always just around the corner, we are beloved children of God...

Focus (what the sermon aims to say): Vote for me.
Function (what the sermon aims to do): Get people to vote for me. :)

Actually, probably more like:
Focus: The waters of baptism are not a tepid bath but rather a powerful flood.
Function: Encourage folks to dive into who it is God is calling them as individuals and as the church to be... and of course, vote for me.


Teri said...

of course they'll love you!

I like the whole water was first...dangerous...lifelong process thing. Intriguing.

RE the book of order...I max out at about one sentence. :-)

Songbird said...

I don't think I would lead them through a renewal of vows when not yet their pastor. I love your 10 things premise!

Listing Straight said...

Barbara Wheeler has a great quote about baptism being more like a cold shower than a warm bubble bath...

A Community bound by our common baptism-- not our likes or interests...

It is going to be good, because you are you...

Mark Smith said...

Unless the sermon is ABOUT the BOO, then one reference is sufficient. It might even be excessive.

I like the idea in general. It shows that you have enough experience out of seminary to really understand the job that they want you to do.

Rev Kim said...

I'll be the odd person out and encourage a reasonable number of, and carefully chosen, references to the BoO.

My rationale? I think part of the reason why people have a negative view of the BoO is that they are hammered over the head with it as a negative. "We can't do it like that because the BoO says we can't." I'm on a quest to lift up the more beautiful parts of the BoO, like the first four chapters and the DfW, so that (hopefully) over time the congregation will see this part of our Constitution helps us fulfill our mission.

Once again, great ideas on the sermon, especially the part of enjoying the high parts of our faith because of the ordinary moments to come.

pastornines said...

I don't know - I kind of like the whole "vote for me" function :)

QuakerPastor said...

I'm also including the "God is on the loose" theme from Mark 1 as per Donald Juel...Those heavens were ripped--not quietly opened!!
God is breaking boundries radically, dangerously...
Not your user friendly Mr. Rogers kind of messiah or God.

Jennifer said...

Turst your instincts.
They're really good ones.
These are great notes, too.

QuakerPastor said...

Also wanted to wish you well on your candidating weekend!