Over the past several years, I’ve preached sermons on the movies, Crash, Lars and the Real Girls, Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby, The Matrix, The Da Vinci Code, The Dark Knight, The X-Files, X-Men, Superman, Spiderman, and Cinderella Man, to name a few. I’ve drawn on the spirituality of Van Gogh, Rembrant, and Chagall, on the joy of drinking, the fear of public speaking, and the theology of the oil industry. I’ve explored the worlds of high fashion and travel, the World of Warcraft, and the World Cup. I’ve preached on violinist Joshua Bell, cyclist Lance Armstrong, physicist Albert Einstein, and classicists like Bach, Handel, Stravinsky, and Mendelssohn. Recent sermons have looked at photography, oceanography, biology, ecology, technology, and psychology. With the children in our church we’ve watched Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, The Ugly Duckling, and Pinocchio, and we’ve read Horton Hears a Who, Green Eggs and Ham, and Are you my Mother?
We’ve spent our Sunday mornings discussing the human body, our senses, the imagination, and our creative capacities. We’ve looked at a Redwood tree and a honey bee, at tattoos and at scars. We’ve studied disabilities and addictions, architecture and cities, politics and business. I’ve preached on Texas Hold ‘Em, the West Coast Trail, gourmet food, Starbucks, the Olympics, and a major league pitcher’s fastball.
And, of course, we’ve listened to the lives and songs of many musical artists, including Coldplay, Green Day, Alicia Keys, Amy Winehouse, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Billie Holiday, Freddie Mercury, Lenny Kravitz, U2, Evanescence, Neil Young, Leslie Feist, Regina Spektor, and Metallica. It’s not what you think (some kind of spiritual gimmick, bait and switch, or shameless church marketing strategy).
It’s not that at all.
The reason I preached on all of these topics is because I believe they belong to God. And when things belong to God, they matter and they have something to say. This book tells the story of a world full of things and people with something to say. It’s about a God who is speaking everywhere.
Join us for a discussion of Pastor Van Sloten’s book, The Day Metallica came to Church, beginning Sunday January 13 through February 10. Class begins at 9:15 a.m. in the adult education room. Then catch the 10:30 service and our series on Ephesians. We’ll be discussing chapters 1 and 2 at our first session on January 13. Books are available for $12 through the church (2 copies left). They can also be purchased on Amazon in paper or for kindle (ibooks too).