I prepare and delivered this sermon at the installation of a neighboring pastor who had selected the scripture readings for the worship service.
A video of the sermon is available here for downloading.
I. Establish the text
A. Select the Pericope: Matthew 6:25-37
B. Brainstorm: What questions/thoughts come to mind?
27-28 — In Chapter 29 Jeremiah warns the exiles to stay for the long haul. Here, perhaps decades later, he warns them to get ready for planting.
27-28 29-30 — Punishment for sin will only be for the sinner and no longer for generations.
27-28 31 — Are the days still to come or have they come and we have yet to recognize them?
27-28 32 — How will it be unlike the Decalogue? Will it be unbreakable? No. But Christ suffered the breaking for us.
27-28 33 — Hearts => wills and minds.
27-28 34 — Is the disestablishment of the church a foretaste of the time when all people will know the LORD? For what Jeremiah predicts is not a knowing about God, but thorough adoption of God’s ways by all people.
F. Reconsider where the text begins and ends: What got chopped out?
– From among a series of oracles of restoration of Israel from Babylonian captivity pledging the restoration of the city of Jerusalem and its inhabitants.
– This oracle possibly begins with a v. 27. vv 27 -30 convey the restoration after destruction and the personalizing of sin and punishment from punishment of children for the sins of their parents.
II. Literary Study.
A. What is the history of the text? Who wrote it? When? In what social context? What Historical/Religious/Sociological factors influenced its writing?
– These oracles are presumed to have been collected over Jeremiah’s lifetime and rather than in historical order of the prophetic statements against various countries.