My fellow preachers,
I need some advice here.
When such a holiday comes along, I simply continue preaching through whatever book I was working through. More often than not, I’m shocked by the clear providence involved, as the “special day” in question (particularly days that touch on biblical themes, like Veterans Day, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, etc.) fits together with the text hand-in-glove—totally unplanned, of course. Sometimes, I can even throw a bone to the holiday via a sermon illustration that serves the text.
But with Mother’s Day . . . well, let’s just look at my record . . .
- My 1st Mother's Day at Judson: Preaching through Sermon on the Mount, I landed on, “If you look at a woman to lust after her, you've already committed adultery in your heart.”
- My 2nd Mother's Day at Judson: Preaching through Joshua, it happened to be about Rahab, the harlot.
- My 3rd Mother's Day at Judson: Preaching through Luke, the text was the woman of bad reputation (prolly a prostitute) who anointed Jesus' feet. (Some finding this less cute, and perhaps beginning to wonder if it’s by design . . . )
- My 4th Mother's Day at Judson: I had just finished 63 weeks of preaching through Luke the week before and took it as a providential sign to preach a one-off expository sermon from a Mother's-Day friendly text. Okay, fine; it was a topical sermon. (Does Act of Contrition). I actually heard more negative feedback for this move than positive.
- My 5th Mother's Day at Judson: Preaching through John's epistles, it seemed that the curse was lifted, as I was able to expound on love and truth.
- My 6th Mother's Day at Judson: Didn't want to mess with it, so I took the week off and called in a real professional (Mikey Gohn) to deal with preaching on Mother’s Day.
- My 7th Mother's Day at Judson (this coming Sunday): Preaching through Revelation, and have arrived at this text . . .
Revelation 2:20-23 “But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead.” [Emphasis mine, natch]
Seriously? On Mother’s Day! Come on!!
Part of me thinks it’s a test or something. Either, way (if I put it off a week or not), it'll be a great intro. But what to preach? And how to address it?
I realize that many pastors do not choose their own text each week, or do not preach through books in an expository fashion, but let’s do a little inter-denominational-clergy-colleagues-take-part-in-a-Baptistic-style-vote a la bad ecclesiatical reality show action on this one. I’m thinking maybe going with whatever one of the major lectionaries has scheduled this week . . . ?
What say you?