In between these two series, there are a few Sundays where I will be preaching a couple of stand-alone sermons; they fall on Easter and the Sunday before Easter, Palm Sunday.
EXPLAINING THE RESURRECTION AND PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL
As I was trying to decide what to preach about in between marriage and Paul, I first settled on something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now. I’d like to preach a sermon on what the Bible says about eternity and the resurrection to come. (See John 5:28-29) At some point, it dawned on me that this topic would be a good thematic match for an Easter service. I mean, any sermon that is about “resurrection” would fit Easter Sunday like a glove. So, for a quick minute, that was the plan.
At that point, I realized that all I had left to decide is what to preach about on the Sunday before Easter. Then, I remembered that one of the elders of our church has been encouraging me to preach a sermon where I share the story of how I became a Christian, and also call the people who have not yet trusted in Jesus to do so. It’s a topic I’ve spoken on before – a fairly straight forward gospel-presentation presented in a story-format. I agreed with him; it’s probably a good time for me to do that. So, boom! I’d figured out my two topics to cover on those Sundays in between the two series.
Then I thought of something…
PEOPLE BRING MORE OUTSIDERS WITH THEM TO CHURCH ON EASTER THAN ON PALM SUNDAY
I don’t know about the rest of the country, but in Marion County, nominally religious people still show up to church on Christmas and Easter. And I thought to myself, perhaps the more straight-forward gospel presentation should fall on that Sunday when they are actually there! That would be easy to do; I’d just have to switch the order of the two sermons.
But then, I wondered if people would think it was weird if I speak a lot about “resurrection” on the week before Easter, and then not a ton about it on the week of Easter.
WHAT’S BETTER? WEIRD YET APPROPRIATE? OR TRADITIONAL YET AIMED AT THE WRONG AUDIENCE?
It seemed to me that it’s better to make sure the sermon that more effectively calls outsiders to trust in Jesus be preached on Easter Sunday, even if that means the more Easter-y sounding sermon actually falls seven days prior.
So, if you want to hear a sermon in April that uses the word “resurrection” several times, feel free to show up on Palm Sunday, April 2. And if you’d like to have an opportunity to bring a friend to church on a week where the pastor is going to describe how to respond to the gospel, feel free to bring them on Easter Sunday, April 9.
Here is the plan:
- March 19 – To the Married and Unmarried, pt 6
- March 26 – To the Married and Unmarried, pt 7
- April 2 – Palm Sunday (the more Easter-y sounding sermon)
- April 7 – Good Friday service at 6pm (worship + communion)
- April 9 – Easter Sunday (invite a friend) regular service times