If you’ve been at PVCC for some time, you know that we don’t typically start or end a sermon series on a holiday weekend. That’s why you’ll often hear Zach, an Elder, or a guest preach a one-week, “open” sermon topic or text around Memorial Day, Labor Day, or Thanksgiving (just to give a few examples).
You may also know that I prepare each year’s preaching calendar in advance. And while it’s always subject to change, I try to stick with the plan. Determining what our church needs to hear in a given year requires time, thought, and prayer. I take very seriously my responsibility to give our congregation a “balanced diet” of the entirety of God’s Word, along with timely, helpful, and relevant subjects mixed in for good measure. Flying by the seat of one’s pants is not a sound strategy for accomplishing that goal.
In this year’s preaching plan, June was originally dedicated to a “theology of the body”. That included sermons on birth, health, sex, and death. Why does God care how we Christians use our bodies? What must Christians understand about the physical bodies God has given us? Does the Bible even make claims about how we ought use our bodies to begin with? These questions about human dignity, responsible stewardship of our bodies as bearers of God’s image, where we came from, and where we’ll one day all go were going to be addressed over the next four Sundays. And while these questions are all extremely important for God’s people to consider, they’ll have to wait (at least for now).
You see, we’ve made a June adjustment to the preaching calendar. Given where we are as a church, I think it’s appropriate (and worthwhile) to go back to some of the basics of who we are and what we do as a local body of believers in Jesus.
The past 15 months have been a massive disruption to the unique life of just about every church in the world. For a season, our church didn’t physically gather at all. And then – for a much longer season – we returned to physical gatherings; but with all the precautions, it was by no means the same. Even for those who have taken advantage of EVERY opportunity we’ve offered to stay connected over the past 15 months, the ministerial limitations our church has faced have made it incredibly easy for the Christians who call PVCC home to forget some basic truths about our identity and purpose. So as we finally return to something resembling normal church life, it’s critical that we remember who God has graciously declared us to be (by faith in Jesus Christ), and what God has called us to do in response (by the power of the Holy Spirit).
So in the month of June, we’re going back to basics. The first two Sundays will focus on who we are: set apart by God, and united to each other. The next two Sundays will focus on what we do: gathering together to worship God, and sent out on mission to the world. We’ll stop in multiple areas of the New Testament along the way, spending time in the Gospels, the Book of Acts, Paul’s letters, the Book of Hebrews, and others.
This is as good a time as ever to remind ourselves of these things. Memorial Day is often considered the “unofficial” transition from spring to summer. COVID numbers are declining steadily and significantly. PVCC is taking consistent steps (both big and small) back towards “normalcy”. And the preaching calendar lends itself to a June adjustment.
Personally, I’m excited for these next four weeks of reminders (I need them just as much as anybody). If you’ve been at PVCC consistently, but counting down the days to changes, I hope the past few weeks and the new month of June is a breath of fresh air. If you haven’t been here for some time, now is a perfect opportunity to get plugged back in and remember who you are and what you’re for.
I’ll look forward to seeing you on Sunday.