Monday, November 28, 2005

Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell...

Why, oh, why, do we have to listen to the sheep and goats passage so terribly often? Why, oh, why, can our liturgical committee come up with nothing more creative for half of our LFF days?

Why, oh, why, does that happen to be the text on which I find myself (no, really) preaching for preaching class sometime in the next two weeks?

And why on earth am I preaching the sermon toward which I seem to be moving?



Micah said...

Oh, Beth! I have wondered this same thing myself lately. I suppose that I have a few pieces of advice that might help you out a little.

Firstly, you are not obliged to preach the text if you have the chance to preach the event (a saint's day for example) or one of the other readings.

Secondly, you might try concentrating on an unusual part of the passage. For example, rather than preach about the sheep and the goats, why not address the question of why the righteous people are so stunned to find that they were serving Christ? What did they think they were doing? Asking the same question about the unrighteous ones can also kickstart some great preaching.

But thirdly, you're gonna have to preach the sermon you get, no matter what it is. I'm sorry, but it's true.

Good luck.

Tripp said...

Christ Jesus, you are the humble one of God, born poor among the poor. And
when we make lighter the sorrows of the least of our brothers, it is to you
that we do it, becoming close to you.

This is from Taize. Enjoy!

Beth said...

Yeah, my original intent was to preach on Ezekiel (it's for preaching class, so I am bound to the texts given). But the emotive and intuitive paragraphs I ended up with both came from the sheep and goats passage. I'm choosing not to preach from the one that leans toward "oh, well, everyone will get in" but that means dealing with one that I think is going to get pretty difficult before we get through it. It really does seem to be the sermon I'm just getting, though. And I am gonna have to preach it.

G. Brooke said...

I actually like the sheep and the goats, because the issue is so clearly one of works. It gives me a chance to hit hard at the false dilemma of "OT is about works, NT is about faith."

But yes, even having a favorite axe to grind doesn't make up for the boredom of having to spend too much time on one passage.