I begin sermon preparation by reading through the texts and writing a 200-word summary of the themes I observe in that initial reading. I include this summary in an online publication for the congregation I serve. It's called "Sunday is Coming," a title with an edge for the preacher. When I do this reading I I look for trouble—for the obvious, palpable problems in the text.
Season after Pentecost | 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16; (Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32; Psalm 25:1-9;) Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32
Ezekiel steps right into the middle of a group of people busy at that most ancient of activities, going back to Eden: the blame game.
In my article on alternatives to the Revised Common Lectionary, I praised the African American Lectionary's extensive resources, but I didn't really describe them in any detail. There is a wealth of good stuff on the AAL website. The AAL is based on weekly themes, many of which do not correspond to the liturgical calendar the RCL follows. This Sunday is Caregivers Day, one of several new AAL observances this year.