Three years ago this week, I preached on these lections for the first time. As I enter into my third year for the first time with a congregation, and move through the same lectionary passages again, I was wondering how to keep my thinking fresh for me and for the congregation. Reading the passages for this week, I was reminded that I have nothing to worry about. These 4 little readings have a little of something for most any aspect of the life of faith, with a thread of the compelling difficulty of discipleship woven through them.
I suspect that many of our best parishioners would welcome a sermon or sermons that acknowledge that following Christ is demanding and indicating what that looks like for us in this time and place. I recall one of my own favorite movie scenes from “A League of Their Own.” The star pitcher, Gina Davis, tells her coach that she’s packing it in. “It’s just got too hard,” she says. He answers, “It’s the hard that makes it good.”