What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

02 January 2011

Putting My House in Order

This being Sunday and all, it's probably completely inappropriate for me to make this announcement:

I'm not wild about the "sermon" part of church.

Praise and worship? Great. Prayer? Yes, please. Fellowship? Absolutely. Sermon? Meh.  So, allow me to proclaim the following:

I, Su Elizabeth, Crown Princess of Cheekyness, could do without sermons for the rest of my life.

Meh heh heh.
There. I said it. Hate mail in the comments, if you must. My reasons are summed up by this: I can read the Bible myself. Truthfully, most ministers that I know enjoy the time they  spend actually ministering, and I feel bad that they have to cut into that time to prepare a sermon for a congregation of people who all own Bibles. Why should the minister have to do for us what we should be doing for ourselves?

All that to set up this rather incongrous statement: Today's post is inspired by a sermon I heard a couple of weeks ago. God sends a prophet to Hezekiah, the king of Judah, to tell him to put his house in order, because he was about to die. Hezekiah pleads with God to allow him to live. God relents and adds 15 years to Hezekiah's life.

But the next verses are more telling. Various heads of state come to offer their well-wishes following his illness, so Hezekiah foolishly shows off the entire royal treasury (which will eventually be carried off into captivity with Judah). Hezekiah's son Manasseh ends up being one of Judah's worst kings. It would seem that Hezekiah missed out on a few crucial points of putting one's house in order.

And I mention this today because I've been pondering this new year that is upon us, deciding what to do with my time, my thoughts, my activities-- what should be changed (chocolate-eating), what should remain the same (writing!), and what needs to be tweaked (I could do with less TV). What in my house needs to be in order for 2011? In a purely literal sense, my house needs some order-- housework is not my favourite activity. I shall add that to the list.

What about you? Do you do New Year resolutions? Do you keep a perfectly tidy house? Did you give a sermon today and now don't wish to talk to me because I ranted a little bit about your job?


Carole Anne Carr said...

Enjoyed writing sermons and had good feed back, but there are some dreadful deadly ones around. Happy New Year.

Madeleine said...

Interesting idea. Sermons can be dull, though occasionally I have heard some very thought provoking ones. It sounds like the sermons you've heard have been too Bible based and not a true reflection on how the message relates to what we are about today.
We had a great pastor whose sermons always related to how the Bible teachings related to our everyday lives and it was very uplifting. Normally my mind drifts away elsewhere, I must confess and our church is so very bitterly cold that I tend to be preoccupied with that and watching my breath frost infront of me. Happy New Year :O)

Su said...

@Carole: I'm really being a jerk to even say it, because I enjoy speaking about God myself... it's more the every Sunday aspect that I object to, I think.

@Madeleine: I think I've heard the full range, from sleep-inducing to highly motivating. But again, I'm just not wild about doing it every week. And if I were in a building cold enough to see my breath, I certainly wouldn't be paying attention! Yikes!

Grandpa said...

I don't like sermon either, though I do sound like a preacher myself at times (must stop that!).

No new year resolutions for me - I'll be thankful enough if I can just get back to normal, and not fizzle into the dark side...

Thanks Su, for your presence

Su said...

Back to normal is a good goal! And I appreciate your presence, too.

Anonymous said...

As a church, we exist in a family of younger and older. Perhaps in "sermon years" you are very old, Su, but you must endure it for the folks who are still young. I, personally, often enjoy sermons as they tend to cause me to reflect upon my own Christian walk and how I am progressing. Now, the public prayer part??? I am quite the baby there. I find prayer to be intensely personal and think that it should not be at all informational; therefore, to me, it is inappropriate as a public offering. Please pull out the poison darts in my pack for me, okay???

Lesley said...

I agree with what anon said, down to the part about public prayer. In fact, most of the examples of Christ himself praying in the Bible show that he went off to a far-off place to be alone.

I'm more interested in the new year's resolutions part of this post. I, too, dislike housework, and could use lots of excuses for many years to not be a very good housekeeper, since I was working full-time or going to school full-time. But alas, now I am a homemaker. While it's true that my primary job is to care for our young child, I have also taken more of a responsibility of keeping the house tidier and cleaner. I started with the fly lady system. It is working great for me. I now have a lot less stress, my house is always presentable for guests that drop by at any time, and I never have to spend hours cleaning. So check it out if you're interested. I have a notepad that is divided into the days of the week, and at the beginning of the week, I make a to-do list for each day (based on the email I get from Fly Lady). Many things rotate, but some days certain things are the same for me. Monday is usually menu-planning day and cleaning out leftovers, Tuesday is grocery store day, Thursday is errands day, and Saturday and Sunday are NEVER house cleaning days. Oh, how I wish I hadn't wasted so many Saturdays cleaning for hours when I had a full-time job, since that pretty much ruined the weekend for me. Anyway, I've blabbed on long enough. :)

sparquay said...

Depends on the person doing the speaking. Occasionally there's a perspective on scripture I hadn't thought about before. This is where sermons could be beneficial.
Although, I could argue that the way our church is set up traditionally, is not the same order it was carried out as evidenced by the letters to the Corinthians. I do think it would be beneficial to hear the perspectives of other people apart from the preacher. As long as it comes from a life deserving of respect gained from lifelong devotion to God... there should be something worth learning. Unfortunately, for the most part, good sermons are few and far between. Some are gifted with exceptional ability, while others are better suited in ministerial duties (as you suggested).
Thanks for your other thoughts though.

Su said...

@Anonymous: Don't worry, I won't give away your secret identity. :) Part of my issue is that I've been really blessed by excellent preachers for most of my adult life, so when I run across one who is less gifted, as sparquay says, it's harder for me to engage in the sermon. And if it's a passage of scripture that I happen to know well and I think it's been mishandled, then I just get annoyed. As far as the prayer goes, I agree; public prayers that double as announcements also grate on my nerves. When I mentioned prayer in my post I was thinking more along the lines of smaller groups.

@Lesley: When we were newly married, I cleaned the house every Saturday, until Chad complained that I was ruining the weekends. Now I just clean when I see dirt. And I have to say that being paid to clean other people's houses has completely ruined me for cleaning my own house, because no one is paying me! ;)

@sparquay: Yep, I agree.

mamaphalen said...

Susan try flylady.net She has helped me greatly in the housework department.

mamaphalen said...

I hadn't read the comments before I typed my reply. The system really works. Also, I truly enjoy getting to listen and ponder on a sermon. I was so excited to get to go to services last week w/out my children so I could hear a whole sermon uninterrupted.

Su said...

I don't necessarily want to abolish sermons, certainly not for those who enjoy them. But I could do without it most of the time.