I’m not sure who first started Writer Wednesday, but today I’m jumping on the bandwagon to tell you about my next writing project. By that I don’t mean my next blog post or my next sermon, but my next print publication, which is my second series of sermons for CSS Publishing. I had a great time with my first series, and I’ve been invited back for the lectionary year 2014-15, with the manuscript due this August and a title due any day now.
And that’s where the problem lies—because for me titles are a challenge at the best of times, and my best titles generally come after a piece is finished. Like the title of my book Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal which is much better than my working title of Time Out, but the final title was chosen only well after the manuscript was finished.
So here I am—without a single sermon written yet—mulling over possible titles for my series that will focus on Jesus’ ministry—mainly his teaching, like Mark 12:28-34 on the greatest commandment and Matthew 6:25-33 on seeking first the kingdom of God, and some of his great works like John 11:32-44 raising Lazarus from the dead. What a privilege to be working with such wonderful texts, but what about a title?
In all, I’ve been given ten gospel texts for ten different sermons, and since Jesus speaks in a significant way in each text, here are my top choices for the series title so far:
Red Letter Sermons for Everyday Living (which would work well in my own congregation, but I’m not sure it’s right for CSS readers)
Jesus in Ordinary Time, or maybe Jesus for Ordinary Time, or Jesus and Ordinary Time (since these sermons are during Ordinary Time and for ordinary life today)
Good News for Ordinary Time (perhaps a too obvious variation)
Conversations with Jesus (although the sermons themselves won’t be written as conversations)
And Jesus Said (and as I said, titles are a challenge!)
So what do you think? Which title gets your vote? Do you have some tips to share on how to choose a great title? Your prayers are welcome too 🙂
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