“Where do the ideas come from for sermon series?”
Someone once asked me “Where do the ideas come from for sermon series?” Great question….
Picture the scene…It’s the food court at Somerset Mall. A pastor friend and his wife are sitting across from Melody and me, all of us are enjoying a delicious Chick-fil-a extra spicy chicken sandwich. My pastor friend says, “So Al, what are the plans for Lent this year?” I said that I would like to concentrate on how the entire Bible has as its central theme the account of our salvation through the life, death and triumphant resurrection of Jesus…how the cross is the centerpiece of all of history. And then he said, that through long periods of time, like the 400 years of slavery the Israelites endured in Egypt and the 40 years of wilderness wanderings and the 40 days of temptation that Jesus endured in the desert, all of those ultimately point to the cross. And then one of our incredible wives mentioned that they have always found it interesting how numbers are used in the Bible to show not only the passage of time but the longevity of God’s love and grace. And numbers are also a great teaching model for all of us in the area of patience.
Well, the conversation began to morph and there was lots of synergism involved and by the end of dessert, we had agreed that we would meet for conference calls to formulate the Lenten Series.
Lent is a 40 day period of time in which the church looks at the life and passion of Jesus as He went deliberately and intentionally to the cross. This year we’ll look at various Biblical narratives that involve significant numbers that have as their purpose the redemption that happened there. Lent is meant to be a time of reflection, a time of regarding ourselves in light of the cross and its impact on our everyday lives.
Since the bible was written to “make us wise about our salvation”, then we will spend time this Lent in God’s Word following the numbers that ultimately point to Jesus.
We’ll begin our Lenten journey on Ash Wednesday under the theme “Portrait of Jesus: To the Cross by the Numbers” and continuing on each of the succeeding five Wednesdays. Each Wednesday service will be preceded by a Lenten dinner (5:30-6:45) meant for everyone to enjoy and get acquainted with your brother and sisters in Christ here at Immanuel.