When I merely filled in for a sick pastor or vacationing pastor, I had to come up with something I hadn’t done before and it had to be a standalone sermon. Now that I’m the interim pastor, I have to do this week after week for the next several months until we manage to find a permanent replacement. This allows me the freedom of doing what’s called a “book study.” I pick a book out of the Bible and each week I preach from a few verses or a chapter. I like that: I don’t have to wonder what to talk about. Last week I did chapter one? Then that means this week I have to do chapter two.
Being an essential weird person, I picked Ecclesiastes. This is partly due to the fact that I really like the book—I think its existentialism speaks to twenty-first century Americans in California better than just about anything else in scripture—and given that I’ve spent a lot of time over the years reading the book, translating it, and teaching it on the college level, I actually think I sort of know what I’m doing when I talk about it.
So far, the congregation hasn’t died from listening to me. We’re already half way through the second chapter.