Sermon Prep: Finished!

Posts in the Sermon Prep: Sodom series

  1. This morning’s sermon will be on …
  2. Sermon Prep (part 1)
  3. Sermon Prep (part 2): Lot
  4. Sermon Prep, part 3
  5. Sermon Prep: Finished!

So, thank you all kindly for your help this week. This was maybe the hardest thing I’ve ever had to speak on, but I think it came together. I’m posting both the podcast and my notes, for those of you who like to read along. I write everything out, so you can see where I stumbled over my words.


Click here to download theManuscript

If you’re just joining the conversation, you can see the bones of the thing by navigating the series links above.

SnG Manuscript

Previous in series: Sermon Prep, part 3

13 thoughts on “Sermon Prep: Finished!

  1. David

    You his the nail on the head. as one would do at the fair, you rang the bell. Michael, you preach from your heart. you speak of things many preachers shy away from, yet you do it with such style as not to offend, but bring us into the presence of God. God was with you this morning and He was in church with all of us.
    In your opening prayer you asked for forgivenes that we hadn’t noticed God during our week, there is no way the congregation could have missed God this morning.
    Thank you

  2. aly hawkins

    Powerful, Michael. I’d love to hear about the response of the congregation, if you feel it’s appropriate.

    Thanks for sharing your heart so nakedly.

  3. harmonicminer

    Powerful sermon, Mike.

    Like Cliff, I gotta agree it’s not an “us and them” story. We’ve all compromised, sometime.

    Two comments, though:

    Every single city that has ever existed has committed the sins mentioned in the Ezekiel passage. I have to believe that if the writers/compilers of Genesis had found that fact central, they would have mentioned it.

    Sodom’s sins (that led to God’s immediate wrath) weren’t sins of omission, they were sins of commission, and very immediate, unprovoked, unjustified violence and domination. Not metaphoric violence, but the real, completely ugly deal.

    By a curious coincidence, I happened to reread this passage today, before logging on, not knowing it was your sermon topic… which is why it’s so fresh in my mind, I suppose.

    I have always been fascinated that God chose Lot and family to rescue. Why? Not because of Lot’s wonderful character, apparently….

    It’s enough to make me a determinist. Not quite….

  4. Paul

    OK, for someone who doesn’t like to preach, that was some serious preaching. The message was really powerful for two reasons:

    1. You spoke directly about a subject that no one wants to hear about, i.e., God’s judgment and the circumstances under which it may be unleashed.
    2. You didn’t gloat in it, revel in it, wave it around like a kid with a weapon. I have heard people talk about God’s judgment as if they’d be happy to see it deployed (especially against those they don’t care for) without grasping what a terrifying prospect such an event actually represents. You sounded genuinely alarmed about it – not gleeful about anyone’s suffering, like the sorry lot that runs the GHF website.

    You should preach more often.

    By the way, did people come forward?

  5. Morphea

    Well done, love. Very earnestly delivered, and very easy to apply to one’s own situation. Honestly, well done.


  6. michael lee Post author


    I agree, the sins of Sodom were sins of commission – I tried to emphasize that there were people being victimized by their actions. Clearly there is some unnamed group crying out for justice – it’s a response to that outcry that provokes God’s visitation on Sodom.

    What I was trying to do was draw the horrific acts of Sodom down to root causes, which I think Ezekiel gives us grounds for doing, in an effort to make them more universal. I do think that Sodom was the extreme case that provoked imminant judgement, but I also think that the root of the sin was an arrogant, sensual selfishness, selfishness to the point of abuse and violence.

    Even if we are not in immanent (i’m going to spell this word in lots of different ways, in hopes that at least one will be correct) danger of God’s judgement, I think Sodom instructs us that those root sins still raise his wrath.

  7. Gretchen

    Yeah, I was pretty proud of Mike, and he was actually very well received by the congregation as a whole, at least from what I gathered by the “Compliments to Mike given by way of Gretchen” thing goes. One guy came up to tell me how much they’d miss having Mike as a worship pastor, now that he apparantly was headed down the Pastor/Preaching track. No, Chad.

  8. harmonicminer

    Maybe imminint?

    Someday you’ll be an imminint theologian, my friend. We’ll all say we knew you when. You’re first tome had better include a CD… or a DVD… or whatever is in vogue at the time.

    God’s judgment IS coming… sometimes earlier than expected.

    I confess, though, that I’ve always been suspicious of taking a single, very brief reference from a different millenium to radically change the lense through which we view a particular scripture that seems reasonably complete in situ.

    The Ezekiel passage is part of a larger work pursuing the “Israel as harlot or adulterer” theme for its idolatry and covenant breaking.

    Gotta admit… most of us, as individuals, ( except ME, of course ) practice some kind of idolatry, and should be granted doctorates in covenant breaking… Well, I suppose I do worship Diet Cherry Pepsi on occasion.

    But Sodom had no such covenant to begin with, as far as I know… they were just flat evil, apparently in multiple ways. And, it appears to have been a corporate evil, requiring the cooperation and active participation of individuals, of course, but when groups of people turn their minds to it, they can do some really ugly things out of the reach of mere individuals. Hitler didn’t manage the holocaust all by his lonesome.

    Mike, start a church out here in the high desert/low mountains… I’ll come. Relax… I promise not to sing in the choir.

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  10. june

    Hey Mike,
    I was finally able to listen to this for the first time today. Thanks for working hard on this. The notion of “Us and them” is so knee-jerk and as much as any one of us strives to not fall into that trap…it can creep in. I appreciate your insight as well as your ehmahnehnt listenability.

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