Last Sunday's Gospel in the three year series was John 6:35-51. That afternoon I was doing a service at the local nursing home, and in that room were 14 old folks - folks for whom death is not some distant thought or some abstraction. No, Death was the looming reality.
So, there I am, preaching John 6:35-51 to these folks, and I noted something. 10 times in that text Jesus points to life or rising again. 10 times. And you know what - that's what the folks in the text who were arguing with Jesus, the folks who were dismissing Him could care less. Who cares about this end of life stuff - we want bread now!
There's a lot of ways someone could preach that text. There's a lot of angles one could take - but when you are preaching to the dying, its obvious. They don't need health and wealth. They don't need moral finger wagging. They need Jesus, the Bread of Life, who forgives sins. They need the resurrection from the dead and the life of the world to come.
Pastors - look at your sermon last week. Could you preach it to the dying? Or would it be full of stuff that the dying could care less about?
Because you know what your congregation is, even the "healthy" folks sitting in the pews? Dying. Poor, miserable sinners doomed to die. And while you might think your stories are really important, or your pet political issue, or your wonderful wisdom... well... that's not as important for those who are dying and need Life - Christ Jesus, who is Himself the Way, the Truth, and even the Life.