While my job title is not Associate Pastor, that’s what it would be in most church settings. Someone else is the Lead Pastor (she’s awesome, by the way!). My responsibilities include youth ministry as well as our justice and outreach ministries. As you might expect, I help lead our two Sunday worship services. But what is apparently a little odd about my situation (ok, one of the odd things) is that I get to preach regularly. Usually once per month, though occasionally more than that. I enjoy preaching. It is challenging and daunting and fun.
Yet, you won’t find many sermons here on my blog. I’ve written about this a few times before. I generally don’t preach from a manuscript, so I don’t have full text to post so that you could read my sermon. More importantly than that, however, is that I find sermons to be nearly exclusively auditory events. They need to be heard to be fully experienced. But most weeks, it is a CD that I have and the technical wherewithal to make a post with audio recording of the sermon that I lack. I can be kind of a dope.
However, recently, an incredible member of our congregation offered to take on the technological part of the task! (H/T to Reid and Kevin!) Thus, I intend to be much better at sharing that content here. Forewarned is fair-warned?
This past Sunday — April 15th — was week 2 of a series on the book of Acts. Our text was Acts 9:1-31. My thesis: The story of the early church has much to teach us. Acts continues the story of God calling and using unlikely people. People such as you and me and us.
At least that was the thesis in my head. I’d love to know what you heard.
I used some visual aids during the sermon. Seeing those will (should?) make the audio make more sense. Those are below.
Special thanks to pastor and illustrator Steve Thomason for sharing his amazing art with the Narrative Lectionary group and, you know, the world.
On to the sermon…
First, the book of Acts of the Apostles offered in the visual metaphor of a tree.
Next, two maps of the areas mentioned in the text for the week. An overview of the Roman Empire, allowing us to see Saul’s hometown of Tarsus. Then a closer look at the sections of Israel: Judea, Samaria, Galilee, and the road to Damascus.
Finally, my favorite: Thomason’s visual of the story of Acts chapters 8-9, that is also set up (loosely) as a map. So many intriguing stories here!