Sometimes I think those of us who love the church the most are also faced with the need to be its harshest critics. I was more than a little crushed to see this spin on the upcoming sermon series at our church (which will remain nameless). FYI, it is a large Episcopal church with a strong evangelical bent. Yesterday’s sermon (devoid of ‘cross language’) did little to assuage my concern that the church is contributing to the idea that being a Christian = being a theologian of glory, but I could be totally off.

This brings me to the point of my post, which is really about the question whether preaching must always speak about the cross. Is it possible that when we talk about the law/gospel dichotomy, we’re being unfair to texts like these which appear to be about issues like money and stress? Are we skipping over large chunks of Jesus’ teaching ministry unnecessarily? Is there truly anything wrong with a sermon series such as this?

Anyway, this is what came to my inbox last week:

How often do we just go with the flow, or take the path of least resistance – and end up feeling our life is only half-lived?

God wants us to live life to the full, and wants to help us to go for it. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presents challenging and risky approaches to money, stress, revenge and integrity, among other things – but says if we’re prepared to go for it we could make a real difference in our lives, and in the lives of those around us.

APRIL
Sunday 26 April : Money – Matthew 6:19-24
MAY
Sunday 3 May : Stress – Matthew 7:25-34
Sunday 10 May : Future – Matthew 7:24-29
Sunday 17 May : Integrity – Matthew 5:33-37
Sunday 24 May : Influence – Matthew 5:13-16
Sunday 31 May : Revenge – Matthew 5:38-48
JUNE
Sunday 7 June : Anger – Matthew 5:21-26
Sunday 14 June : Prayer – Matthew 6:5-14
Sunday 21 June : Giving – Matthew 6:1-4
Sunday 28 June : Priorities – Matthew 5:1-6

P.S. Out of respect for the church’s anonymity, I ask you not to fish for it on ‘google’, I would just like to hear what you guys think…