I sometimes struggle with the "familiar" texts. When the lextionary presents a passage that is so well known, you read it, and read it, and wonder what can you say about it in a sermon that isn't so blatantly obvious. Sometimes it feels as though it's all been said before, and there is nothing new under the sun.
That's the way I felt last night trying to work on a sermon for this coming Sunday. I felt drawn to the gospel lesson, Luke 15:1-10, which has the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. But I was coming up with nothing.
I tried the "explosion on paper" method, where you take a notepad and write down any and every thought that comes to you while ruminating on the passage. One thought will lead to another and then as you go back over it, often a theme emerges. Nope, nothing, even after three pages of word pictures. I was tired and went on to bed.
Then I woke up at 4:30, laid there in the bed, and my sermon - along with a title (The Seeker) - was simply there in my head. Eureka! Got up, made a pot of coffee and started typing it out. Amazing how the brain can keep working while you sleep. Come to think of it, that's how I got through my college classes!