Dr. Dale A. Meyer, president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, recently released a Lenten series for use in the parish. Below are his comments:
“Do you need a Lenten series? I’m teaching a class on preaching in our postmodern times, these times when an authoritative word from God is rejected out of hand by many people. ‘You have your opinion; I have mine. Don’t impose your views on me.’ So how do we get into their heads and hearts? ‘Why should I listen to sermons if there’s nothing in them for me?’ So for a class project we’re working on a Lenten series that tries to get listeners to sit up and think, ‘He’s talking about my life! I need to hear this.’ If you want, we’ll make available to you the results of our efforts.”
Here is what’s included in the series, free of charge:
- Announcements for each upcoming Wednesday sermon to put in a bulletin or on a Web site. The Seminary’s goal for the announcements is to catch the interest of people. In broadcasting it’s called the “tease.”
- Two or three weeks before the Lenten date we’ll send you by e-mail…
- A sermon outline
- Short notes about the sermon
- A responsive prayer
- Suggestions for the service’s Bible reading
- One or two hymn suggestions
- This series does not include a whole order of service. The LSB has basic service orders or each church may create its own.
The series is titled “Life Together”—based upon Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic book, Life Together—that describes in challenging ways what it means to be the body of Christ in community. Bonhoeffer wrote the book about seminary life, and Concordia Seminary has been studying it as a campus community, but his insights apply to congregational life in both modern and postmodern times. Hopefully these offerings will speak to older people, “moderns,” and to younger people, “postmoderns.” Dr. Meyer adds, “As a 60-something, I’ve been stimulated by the discussions we’re having in this class where the average age is 20-something.” Here is an overview.
- February 17 (Ash Wednesday):
- Title: Life’s Better in My Hands!
- Attention getter: Jesus said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Hand over your life to someone else? No way!
- Text: 1 Peter 2:20-25
- February 24:
- Title: I’m Being True to Myself!
- Attention getter: Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” But of course, you do know what you are doing!
- Text: 1 Peter 1:22-25
- March 3:
- Title: This Is It???
- Attention getter: Jesus said, “Today you will be with Me in paradise.” Huh? Life is short; get the most out of it here-and-now!
- Text: 1 Peter 1:3-5
- March 10:
- Title: How Do You Know Who I Am?
- Attention getter: Jesus said to Mary, “Woman, here is your son,” and to John, “Here is your mother.” Do you bristle when people make claims on your life?
- Text: 1 Peter 2:9-12
- March 17:
- Title: How Can I Believe in a God Who Would…
- Attention getter: Jesus cried, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me” Is there vindication for believing in God?
- Text: 1 Peter 4:12-25
- March 24:
- Title: I Need This…and This…and This…
- Attention getter: Jesus said, “I thirst.” What do you need? Why do you need it?
- Text: 1 Peter 4:1-6
These are for Wednesdays. Also provided will be similar resources for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter.
If your church is interested in these materials, please go to http://preaching.www.csl.edu and complete the form. Only those who sign up will receive the materials.
Please contact the Seminary’s Technology Services department at 314-505-7231 with any questions.