Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.
Colossians 3:16, NRSV
It’s the day after Christmas. Do you know where your children are?
Mine are sleeping late or laid about on couches. But more to the point, the gospel lesson for the First Sunday after Christmas week is about a child who was not where he was “supposed” to be, although one might also make the case that his parents weren’t exactly keeping a sharp eye out for him on the journey home from Jerusalem.
The accompanying Hebrew Bible text from 1 Samuel shows us another young person whose call to God’s service is apparent at an early age, but in this case one whose mother and father willingly sent him to the Temple.
I love to preach on so-called “low” Sundays, when the faithful remnant turn up to hear the Word of God while others are taking a day off. Sometimes I want to ask them why they are there, and this may be a good text with which to pose the question, affirming their faithfulness. I would love to hear their stories, too, and will certainly share part of mine, about how church was, to me, a home away from home throughout my childhood.
I’ll be preaching this week far away from my family and my church home, at The Church of the Sainted Casserole. I’m hoping to engage that congregation in some dialogue about what brings us to church and what makes it feel like the place we belong.
What are your preaching plans this week?