At the two churches I serve, I decided to have a little fun during the otherwise somber season of Lent. I decided to present a series of sermons entitled, “Because You Asked.”
Several weeks leading up to the first Sunday in Lent, during the announcements in worship, I invited people to write down a passage of scripture or topic on which they had always wanted to hear a pastor preach and I would do my best to respond to them.
I also mentioned this was not a round of “stump the preacher.” A couple of requests fell along this line, however. They were from the Song of Solomon verses 7:4 and 4:2: “Why does the author of the Song of Solomon equate his beloved’s nose with a tower of Lebanon?” Another question was, “Why does the bride equate her beloved’s teeth to shorn sheep?”
Most requests were more serious in nature. One was to preach on 1 Peter 3:3–7, which addresses husbands and wives, and wives not adorning themselves by braiding their hair, wearing gold jewelry, et cetera, and husbands treating their wives with honor. This was a great opportunity to remind each of us that we are called to treat one another with mutual respect.
Another request was to preach on Exodus 17:1–7, with the question: “Why do people cry out for water, but not follow the path that leads to it?” This very good question opened the door to preach about following the path of Jesus Christ, not the path of entitlements.
Still to come is the request, “Preach on anything in the book of Revelation. That’s a hard one for me.”
I’ve thought about making that a short sermon by saying, “That’s easy. John ate some bad mushrooms that day. Amen. Our closing hymn is....”
I won’t do that, however. The sentiment about Revelation being hard to understand is held by most, and I plan to address it soon.
Two other requested topics to be addressed are hypocrisy and what it means to be godly.
I share this with you, not to entice you to attend the congregations I serve, but to let you know that it is okay to ask questions of your pastor and leaders to seek their interpretations on a topic or scripture.
Bear in mind, you may not hear an interpretation you expect, but you will hear an honest interpretation for you to pray about and ponder.
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.