I got back from the UK on Thuesday night, about 10pm. On Friday morning I headed off to our International Friendship Camp. Our camps are one of the few things we do together as a field, so while they’re really tiring - especially if you’ve just stepped off a longhaul flight - I’m starting to find them more and more worthwhile. Particularly that one, since I didn’t have to do very much at it. :)
Well, I did have to write a sermon, because it turned out I was preaching to the Latin congregation that Sunday night. I preached about the fatherhood of God and specifically the doctrine of adoption, which I’m convinced is a fundamental concept for understanding the church. I didn’t realise it was Father’s Day in Brazil that day, so it worked out rather well…
Yesterday I did absolutely nothing. I slept a lot, mainly to try to beat the heat - it was 35 degrees yesterday, and it doesn’t really get cooler overnight, which is why I’ve been up since 5 o’clock this morning.
Today I’ve got another Maibara meeting, which ought to be exciting, but they’ve asked me to bring along a sermon, suggesting I’ve completely failed to get across the vision for that group - it’s supposed to be self-sustaining and not relying on the missionary to come along and airdrop wisdom on it every month. I shall use the sermon (I’m basically ad-libbing a Japanese version of the one I preached at Aldates - still not on their web site, but there’s a transcript) to have another go at communicating the concept.
Then tomorrow there’s another camp, at which I have to give a talk on 1 Peter 5:1-4. It’s not a great passage for me, because in a sense it’s too straightforward. I don’t like moralising sermons and it’s a moralising passage. It tells you what to do. For all of the theocentric-preaching-from-every-passage-of-the-Bible idea, this is not about the glory of God, it’s about how to run a church. I guess that’s another reason why I don’t like it; this is a “Family Camp” and the passage is being used to talk about elder people (particularly parents) providing an example for their families. Which is not what it’s about, so I guess I don’t like being asked to make it about that.
Still, I appreciate the challenge of having to preach on texts that I don’t like preaching on - otherwise I only end up preaching on the bits of the Bible that are easy to preach, and that’s not a good outcome for anyone. However, it would have been nice if I had more than half a day to prepare it.
I get back from camp on Friday - and go back on Saturday to the combined Nagahama Latin/Youth camp. And yes, I’m preaching there as well. So I will have to use the Friday to write another sermon. That’s four in a week, which is possibly a bit excessive.
Next week I’m going on holiday. I come back on Friday, and guess what I’m doing on Sunday.