SERMON TITLE: “Starting the New Year Well: Relationally”
SERMON TEXT: Genesis 27:1-27a, 34-35, 41-45
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: February 12, 2017, at First UMC (Boy Scout Sunday & Valentine’s)
Since Valentine’s Day is coming up on Tuesday, a lot of us have been thinking about our relationships. Besides our romantic partners, some of us may have purchased Valentine’s cards and gifts for parents, children, classmates, teachers, and friends. When we think of love—especially Christian love—that love can extend to any number of people. Jesus taught that we should love our neighbors, which, by his definition included people of different ethnic and religious groups. And Jesus even taught that we should love our enemies. When you push love that far, it becomes pretty obvious that most of us fall short of the loving standard Jesus set. Whether we’re talking about our most intimate relationships—or the kind of relationships we have at work, in the community, with the Boy Scout Troop, or with people around the world—most of us could benefit from some improvement in our relationship skills.
Ever since January first, I’ve been preaching a sermon series on starting the New Year well. So far, we’ve talked about what it means to be healthy mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, creatively, and societally. On this weekend before Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be good for us to consider the complex family story in Genesis 27. In this family drama, we can quickly glean at least five all-around good strategies for starting the New Year well relationally.