The Reflectionary – Being Spiritually Rich, When All Feels Pointless, and More

by | Jul 21, 2022 | The Reflectionary

My kids go back to school in just one month! The summer might be a time when people travel and church attendance lags a bit, but it’s also short and flies right by.

One of the strongest opportunities to invite potential newcomers to church comes in the early fall when families find their routines again. It’s one of the best times to kick off a new series of messages.

I’m going to be writing about that and helping some pastors think through their preaching for the fall of this year, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, here are this week’s sermon ideas…


Sermon Ideas Based on the Lectionary

Note: The notes in the Reflectionary each week are based on Lectionary texts ten days out (so, the next Sunday, not the coming Sunday). If you need to see notes for this Sunday’s texts, visit last week’s Reflectionary.


For July 31, 2022
Year C – Eighty Sunday After Pentecost


First Reading and Psalm


Hosea 11:1-11

WORKING TITLE: God is Like a Patient Parent

God will not give up on his people, no matter how much they act like spoiled children who take his goodness for granted. God has gone out of his way to prove his love and his kindness. It is up to us to see his grace at work and to respond to it.

Read: God is Like a Patient Parent


Psalm 107:1-9, 43

WORKING TITLE: Listen to the Loving Voice of God

The goodness of God is enough to convince us to follow him. For nearly all of us, we can recognize the consequences of our rebellious and selfish decisions. Or, we can respond much earlier to the goodness, patience, and mercy of God.

Read:Listen to the Loving Voice of God


Alternate First Reading and Psalm


Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23

WORKING TITLE: When Everything Feels Pointless

The meaning of life isn’t found in any earthly pursuit, but rather in heavenly, healthy relationships with God and the universe around us. Stop, look up, and see God’s hand at work in the world, then join him in the joy-producing renewal of all that is broken.

Read: When Everything Feels Pointless


Psalm 49:1-12

WORKING TITLE: The Pricelessness of Every Person You’ll Ever Meet

The world will always divide us into classes, and sometimes we even believe the labels ourselves, but from the perspective of our eternal Creator, we’re all equally priceless. Redefine your worth and value on the basis of how God sees you.

Read: The Pricelessness of Every Person You’ll Ever Meet


Second Reading


Colossians 3:1-11

WORKING TITLE: You Were Made for More Than the Mess

Life is messy, but you were made for more than the mess. God formed you for his eternal family and wants you to set your affection on an eternal kind of life. Take a moment to examine your affections. What’s your vision for life all about?

Read: You Were Made for More Than the Mess


Gospel Reading


Luke 12:13-21

WORKING TITLE: How to Be Spiritually Rich

Jesus teaches us that you can be “rich” by accumulating material possessions, but spiritually poor. There is more to life than having more stuff. Ask yourself, where do your security and your significance come from?

Read: Prayer: How to Be Spiritually Rich


Creative Sermon Series Ideas from MinistryPass

My favorite resource for sermon series and message ideas, complete series graphics, and video bumpers (but NOT full notes or sermon outlines) to get you started is MinistryPass! Each week, I’ll feature a series I would recommend checking out for the upcoming season of the church year. This week:

From the Description:

For some, the word revival evokes images of fiery preaching and miracle healings. For others, it has little meaning. This four-week series helps us rightly define and understand revival and its effects on individuals and communities. Though the word revival isn’t found in the Bible, there are accounts of significant outpourings of God’s Spirit on his people, times of spiritual reform, and times of awakening in the spiritual lives of God’s people. We’ll explore these events and discover how we might experience this same revival in our lives and churches today.

Check Out This Sermon Series »


Upcoming Events


The Goal Getters’ Summit
July 25th – 29th, 2022 (Online)

Over 5 days, 25 experts will teach you strategies you can use to:

  • Prioritize what you actually care about
  • Make a plan for accomplishing goals that matter
  • Conquer your to-do list with less time and effort
  • Move forward in the most important areas of your life

No matter what goals you’re chasing or where you’re at in the process, the summit will help you move forward.

Register for The Goal Getters’ Summit »


The Time to Thrive Summit
August 2-6, 2022 (Online)

In just 5 days, join Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi, Matthew McMcConaughey, and other special guests as they share their exact 5-step blueprint to not just survive in a world filled with uncertainty… but to THRIVE in your career, impact lives & secure your future. There is a VIP upsell offer but the event itself is free.

Save Your Free Seat for Time to Thrive »


A Conference for Church Communications Leaders
August 22-23, 2022 (Online)
October 18-19, 2022 (Charlotte, NC)

The Church Communicator Conference is specially designed for the accidental church communicator, the one that wears many hats and may have stumbled upon this role without a plan. Lead pastors and executive pastors will also benefit from this conference as it will introduce principles and concepts that will assist with creating a unified communication strategy that aligns with the vision and mission of the church.

Register for The Church Communicator Conference »


Books, Links, and Resources for Pastors and Church Leaders


Miss an Issue?
Read The Reflectionary Archives!


About the Art: Frith, William Powell, 1819-1909. Poverty and Wealth, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.


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