Rustlings (August 15, 2016)

It began as a ‘paper’ presented at Mercer University’s Consultation on Preaching. This event is held annually at St. Simons Island, Georgia, and draws ministers from within and without the state to enhance the depth and breadth of their preaching ministry. After presenting the material, I was invited to slightly expand the content and lead a conference at Vanderbilt University’s Scarritt Bennett Center. Again, the material was well received by a gathering of young ministers from around the nation. Smyth & Helwys Publishing Company has now asked me to further expand the material and produce a volume for their Preaching the Word Homiletic Commentary series. I’ve agreed to do this, but only with your help. The commentary will contain lessons or sermons that have actually been preached on the assigned biblical book. For the commentary to be valid, you actually have to listen to me preach this stuff and assure me it makes some sense. What biblical book will I be writing about in this volume? (I know the suspense is killing you.) Leviticus. (Now I know the content is killing you.)

My working title (and the prior title of the preaching consultation paper and conference presentation) is Loving Leviticus: What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Heart of the Torah. During MidWeek Fellowship this Fall, I will be leading a Bible study on the Old Testament book of Leviticus. I love this book. I love seeing how the Hebrew law has guided God’s people in days past and continues to be relevant in contemporary culture. I know it’s hard to believe, but this ancient text filled with blood and guts and sexual allusions (sounding like a modern movie already, isn’t it) has a lot to say to the modern church… and I think you’ll actually enjoy hearing it!

Midweek services begin on Wednesday, August 24. I hope you’ll come with an appetite for some good food and some insightful Bible study. Bring your Bible. Read ahead. It’s going to be fun. And when the book is published, you can read the material all over again! (Okay, now I’m pushing my luck.) I’ll see you on Wednesday nights this Fall!

— Jim