All Saints – Two Calendars telling a story

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Let me just say two things about this sermon: 1) I really hate it as a sermon. I think it misses the audience, doesn’t point to Christ enough, lacks a real solid textual foundation and doesn’t have the unity of message it should have. 2) I think some of the parts of it by themselves are bleeding raw and cut right to the heart of life. Modern life has lost the saints and the One who makes them and as a result is childish and soulless. We can’t see the problems even though they are right before our eyes. Being a Christian is a call to a life with a larger canvass, not a safe harbor.

Any sermon is a balance or weaving of separate threads. I have a comfort zone being very textual. In my own walk I can’t get over the fact that God speaks in this book, and I want to know as much about it as possible. That comfort zone moves through to application. Basically I have about five outlines: Very simple text-application, a little more complex 4 pages outline with the four pages being trouble in the text, gospel in the text, trouble in the world and gospel in the world (the individual pages can come in any order, when they are text, text, world, world it reduces to text-app), a three point outline (have something to say and say it well, or if you took debate/speech this tends to be a classic argument outline), a question and answer outline, and a refrain structure (multiple images or examples from life that end with the same biblical refrain). All of those outlines are about relating the text we are reading to our lives, or in reality relating our lives to the text. You could say I’m usually about trying to get people to let the biblical text read their lives. This sermon had a different basis in that the liturgical day (All Saints Day) was really the theme. Textual exposition was greatly reduced and the theology of being a Saint was brought forward. The general outline was compare and contrast – living life and interpreting reality from a secular veiwpoint alone (living with a calendar that only has Halloween) and living life with a church calendar (living with All Saints). Instead of being textual this sermon was theological and thematic.

It needed to be better.

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