Romans All The Way Through
I’m going to do something from the pulpit I’ve never done in my 26 years of ministry – preach through the entire book of Romans. I won’t be preaching on every single verse (the series will be 46 weeks long as it is!) but every single verse will be read in worship over the next year – the way I’ve scheduled it, we should finish around July 1 2012.
Why, you may ask, are you going to spend such a long time in one single book? Several reasons:
- I’ve never done it before and I like the challenge of that
- Lectionary preaching, while it has many virtues, tends to hop around texts according to the season; it tends to select highlights from chapters and books. Staying with one book will give us a much better sense of its sustained argument, the “big picture” of the book. We’ll be eating the Romans elephant one bite at a time, rather than just getting a lick here and there (licking the elephant – that’s gotta be a book).
- We focusing on the basics of the Christian faith this year at St. Paul’s, and what better book to study for the basics than Romans?
Martin Luther wrote in his Preface to Romans:
This letter is truly the most important piece in the New Testament. It is purest Gospel. It is well worth a Christian’s while not only to memorize it word for word but also to occupy himself with it daily, as though it were the daily bread of the soul. It is impossible to read or to meditate on this letter too much or too well. The more one deals with it, the more precious it becomes and the better it tastes.
I think after 40+ weeks of preaching, Romans will be tasting pretty good around St. Paul’s, don’t you?
PS – one idea to go along with the sermon series is to encourage folks to actually memorize passages from Romans this year. If you have suggestions on such verses, post ’em here!