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2014-12-28 Watsonville Nazarene

This is the third time I've preached in Watsonville, all within about a year. It is a delightful place to worship.

The Sunday between Christmas and New Years presents an interesting option each year. I could preach a Christmas wrap-up message, or something that begins to move the church towards the new year. Ecclesiastes only shows up in the lectionary on New Year's day and 2 other Sundays, so it's hard to pass that one up when it presents itself. After praying about the options I decided to base the sermon mainly on an overview of Ecclesiastes. You can read or download the sermon notes by clicking on The Preacher's Message. At the end of the sermon is a link to the Presentation file.

A Christian sermon needs some connection to the New Testament. As it turns out, this was easy to accomplish in this one. You'll find a use of Ephesians 2.10 in the section about the goodness of work (near the bottom of page 2). And you'll find a significant leaning on the concepts of the incarnation through Pentecost in the section on God being good (bottom of page 4).

I struggled to understand Ecclesiastes for many years until I ran across a teaching by Haddon Robinson. He's a great teacher, and one of his sermons unlocked the door to this book for me. Here's a link to his The Message of Ecclesiastes. It's on a Preaching Today website so you'd need a subscription to read all of it, but the top level is available without subscription. Just looking at the top level will show you where I got a significant part of the framework for the sermon.

Thanks to Pastor Jerry for inviting me back.


Tim Isbell