A Sermon Somewhere: Hymns for A Dead Church


There is an old preacher’s joke that goes, “I don’t know where but there is a sermon in there somewhere.”  This series builds off of that by trying to find the sermons hiding beneath our everyday experiences.  .  .and failing miserably.

Before I begin with today’s search for a sermon, I want to let you all know that I intend to eventually start writing posts of substance again.  However, I am swamped with the stresses and pressures of this season and I assume all of you are as well.  So it is my joy to bring you what humor I have to lighten the load of the season.

Speaking of the season, I was at another church’s Christmas celebration last night and noticed in their pew racks a hymnal entitled, “Hymns for the Living Church.”

I assume its publishers came up with that title in reaction to a hymnal full of dead church songs that is out there somewhere.  Of course my mind could only imagine what songs the, “Hymnal for a Dead Church” might contain.

I assume that instead of “Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel” it might be:

Oh Come, Oh Come Grim Reaper,

And put us out of our misery

who mourn that no new people come

Until the day of foreclosure.

Or maybe one of those songs is:

Take our hope and let it be

Finished off by grumbling.  

Take our members and our tithes,

Let them flow to the church next door.  

Let them flow to the church next door.

Or maybe another would go,

On a hill far away

Stood our old rugged church,

The emblem of suffering and shame.

And I loved that old church where the angriest and sad

For a world of lost sinners complained.  

So I will cherish that old, rugged church

Until a hipster coffee shop buys it.  

I will cling to the old rugged church

And exchange it someday for a latte.

I have one more but then I really have to get some work done.

We bring the sacrifice of anger

Out of the house of our Lord.  

We bring the sacrifice of grief

Into the world Jesus died for.  

And we offer up to them,

Our empty sanctuaries of gray haired grumblers.  

And we offer up to Jesus, the power games of greed.

If you feel so inspired to write a hymn for the dead church, please share it on Twitter, Facebook or in the comments below.

And you never know but there might be a sermon in them somewhere!

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