Have been fighting the cold crud this week, and I think it has clearly amassed more delegates than I have. So, while attending to basics of work, the rest of the time there was no mental energy for writing a post - kinda like a perpetual Sunday afternoon gray zone. And here on Friday, the pressure is on.
This coming Sunday is a BIG Sunday for our church. A new children's event has been in the works and promoted, called the D.O.C.K. We already have in place a pretty good rotation Sunday School program that has a different theme, or lesson, every five weeks. What's being added is a high-energy, song and character, stage event set to introduce the kids to the rotation theme.
So, there is a "dock," a lighthouse, a boat, and a puppet character called "Beacon" occupying the Sanctuary this week. D.O.C.K. will take place during the Sunday School time, but I told them to leave the props in place so I could preach from the dock, and let the rest of the church understand what's going on and why. Now the "why" question is, "Why did I set myself up for this?"
I've got several pages of notes, and a couple of good illustrations, but I still fluctuate over the direction of the sermon. Part of me wants to "sell" the new ministry to the older age congregation, and part of me resists using the sermon time in such a blatant way. I left the lectionary and am using Psalm 78:
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.
He established a decree in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach to their children; that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and rise up and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their ancestors, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.
I know I want to emphasize that teaching our children is as important or arguably, more important, today as is was when the psalm was written. I want to emphasize the crucial need for ministries that engage children and lead them to discipleship. And yet I don't want to pretend to be the "authority" on the dangers children face today or on the exact methods we need to use.
Well, maybe I'm making a mountain out of a mole-hill. But still, it feels like a mountain here on a late Friday afternoon, and I just want a clear head and a few clear thoughts. What was it Jesus said about moving mountains? A little bit of faith? Hummm.....