We’ve had frost on the pumpkin, Labour Day is behind us and the kids are back at their schoolwork. The summer is over. This is sad but true (the bit about the pumpkin isn’t true, though, because we don’t have any pumpkins). It is time for some reflection on the warm months that are behind us.
We were away for four Sundays this summer, and our people were in and out over the holidays, so I did a mini-series on The Unfolding Mystery of God’s plan of redemption. Here’s the outline:
July 6 – The Mystery of Revelation: Romans 16:25-27. What was hidden has now been revealed in the Gospel. God’s Word from the very beginning contained the promise that is now made manifest in Christ.
July 13 – The Mystery of Redemption (Communion Service): Leviticus 16
July 20 – The Mystery of Evil: Romans 8:20. It was God who subjected the creation to futility. In hope! I preached this heavy message and then ran away to family camp at Sunnybrae in B.C. for a week.
July 27 – The Mystery of Providence: various (Genesis 15:16, 50:20; Acts 2:24, etc). More of a topical message. I do those a couple times a year.
August 3 – The Mystery of the Gospel (Communion Sunday): Romans 1:16-17. Could there be anything more basic yet more mysterious than the power of the Gospel?
August 17, 24 and 31 – The Mystery of the Future: Revelation 21-22. This was only supposed to be two parts, but the second message spilled over into last week. The first message was more topical as I sought to build a framework of “what’s next” so that the messages on Revelation 21-22 would fit.
I was surprised by reaction to the Revelation messages. People had a lot of questions, and some said that the messages cleared up some misconceptions about the future. I love the book of Revelation, but I haven’t done a sermon series on it yet. It won’t be coming for the foreseeable future either. However, I must say I’m not opposed to preaching through it sometime. I am less bothered than I used to be by the people who accuse me of not taking the Bible literally because I don’t see the locusts of chapter 9 as Cobra Attack Helicopters.
Last September I began a sermon series on the book of Ephesians. This September I’ll be picking up at chapter 5:22 (after a review on Sunday) and finishing sometime before Christmas (my usually optimistic outline says November 19). I’m looking forward to getting back to this book and doing sequential messages again.