Each December I plan my sermon preaching schedule—text or topic and series emphasis—for the entire coming year. But I work on it all year, writing down ideas for the upcoming year. So, I’m already thinking about what I might preach in 2012. One of the things on my mind is the possibility of a series of topical sermons that have titles based on retro-songs.
1. “Love Shack”—This B-52’s classic is a great title for talking about the way in which Christians should love one another. Then the sermon could take a turn to describe exactly how this love is shown in the context of messy church life.
2. “Living on a Prayer”—Bon Jovi sang about desperate times. I’m thinking I could craft the sermon to be about how our everyday lives could be guided by prayers all along the way. Waking prayers, devotional prayers, prayers said while grooming, prayers for work, prayers for noontime, prayers in the afternoon, prayers at dinner, and nighttime prayers.
3. “Beat It” –The first music video I ever saw was Michael Jackson’s cautionary tale about fleeing from a dangerous situation. I think this would be a great sermon about how to avoid sin and temptation.
4. “Suspicious Minds”—Okay you know I had to get Elvis in there. This could be a sermon about how trust is necessary in human relationships, particularly marriage. I can easily see, though, extending it out to include parent-child relationships as well as to friendship.
5. “Stairway to Heaven”—This one is easy. First, some time could be spent unpacking some theological imagery already inherent in the song and then talk about how Jesus came to earth and that the cross sort of makes a stairway to heaven which allows us, through Christ’s sacrifice and our following him, to enter into heaven.
6. “With or Without You”—Okay, I freely admit I could preach a sermon based on many U2 songs because many of them are theologically rich with obvious biblical connections. But this one is the only one I would use in this series. What I would do is focus on how God’s will and plan is doing with or without us. Our greatest joy is to participate in his work and be a part of the celebration.
7. “Welcome to the Jungle”—No retro list would be complete without something from G-N-R, right? So this sermon would feature a description of the world as a spiritually dangerous place in which we must be careful. Perhaps 1 John would be the best place to jump off of.
Whether I preach these or not I do not know. Regardless, it was fun thinking about it. Maybe its time to push play on my 80’s playlist on the old iPhone.