From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

Summertime OT Series

For the last few weeks I’ve been asking our folks in worship to let me know which OT book they’d like to hear a series on. There’s been a smattering of responses – Genesis, Esther, Psalms – but it looks like Daniel is the one most requested.

So starting in June we’ll have a series on Daniel which I expect to run through the summer (with some Sundays off for 150th Anniversary guest preachers and a couple of Sundays when I’m out of town).  Right now I’m thinking that instead of 3 scripture readings on Sunday, we’ll have a responsive psalm, then one somewhat longer reading from Daniel. The entirety of chapter 1 for example. I’d like us to get further into the book than little snippets here and there. Plus, the first half of the book consists of stories (the lion’s den, the fiery furnace, etc.) and I don’t see how we can do justice to these stories without reading them in their entirety. Same with the second half of Daniel, which consists of apocalyptic visions.

Of course I want to encourage people to read Daniel in its entirety – it’s not that long, just 12 chapters. But what else can we do to immerse people and encourage them to study? E.g.

  • have the text printed in the bulletin
  • encourage people to bring their Bibles and follow along in the reading and preaching
  • have a “Daniel memorization” contest for the youth
  • publish “Daniel trivia” – e.g. common phrases that come from Daniel, like “feet of clay” and “the handwriting’s on the wall”
  • have a real lion on church on Sunday – what an idea, we’re facing real danger not just little annoying kitties…

Your thoughts, ideas and comments would be appreciated!

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4 responses

  1. Teresa

    Are you crazy? Don’t answer that. I think we need to advertise Daniel similar to 3:16. It makes people more into it when you have a “theme”. Let’s talk about this at E&O and see if we can think of ways to promote Daniel. Or is that a Worship & Music thing? Oh, what difference does it make, as long as it gets done. I like the ideas above – and we can do more…

    April 29, 2008 at 10:03 am

  2. First, the above “Possibly related posts” don’t come from me – they’re automatically generated by WordPress – they may or may not be appropriate or relevant; I take no responsibility for same!

    Second: Am I crazy? Oh yes! In the words of the great Willie Nelson indelibly burned into my memory by St. Patsy Cline:
    “Crazy
    For thinking that my love could hold you
    Im crazy for tryin
    Crazy for cryin
    And Im crazy
    For lovin you”

    Now, who would that be about…?

    April 29, 2008 at 11:14 am

  3. Teresa

    I was referring to the live lion – but that would be so like you!

    April 29, 2008 at 12:48 pm

  4. I am thrilled that Daniel is the book of study for Sunday mornings! I would imagine most people know the furnance story and Daniel and the Lion’s Den, but they are going to be surprised at the depth and meaning for us in 2008!

    I feel sorry for those who sit in “some” churches each week seeking God and hear little to no “meat” based on scripture.

    Let’s print the scripture in the bulletin for now. When peoples’ appetite for more of his word is wetted, then asking them to bring their bibles will be no shock. Just my thought on the matter.

    April 30, 2008 at 6:30 am

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