I'm preaching this week from Zephaniah 1:7-18.
The RCL website lists this as the alternate OT reading. It is the OT reading highlighted in the "Feasting on the Word" commentary series.
In anticipation of Christ the King Sunday the following week, this is a passage of utter judgment. The world will be destroyed because of its sinfulness.
I'm hoping to help our people focus on the things in life that need to change to be closer to God and more like Christ. This will be an introduction to a week of self-reflection.
Obviously the danger here is just depressing the heck out of people. I'm hoping to frame it as our hunger for faithfulness, not our fear of hell.
I'd appreciate any thoughts that come along.
As for homiletics, I think I'm going to use an old twilight zone episode as the bookend. In the episode "to serve man" an alien race comes to "help solve Earth's problems" and they leave a book. The humans translate the title - to serve man - but get too excited to translate the actual book.
When it's already too late, someone does and finds out that "to serve man" is a cookbook.
To me this image dovetails well with verse 7 - in which God's banquet guests also double as the sacrifice. In the end, I'm hoping to reverse the image - that we expect God to have a book "how to serve man" when really we should be searching for the ways we can better serve God. The condemnations in Zephaniah are about selfishness and misunderstanding of God's intentions for us; our attitudes need to change if we hope to survive the Day of the Lord.