In honor of Thanksgiving let’s offer Jesus our thanks by joining each other in a life changing sermon. A sermon on being blessed to be a blessing. Pray with me.
In First Thessalonians Paul is sharing that we all need to be prepared for the day Jesus returns, a judgement will come but for the children of the light it will be joy. You are God’s beloved and let’s work on our portion of that.
In his book, Life with God, Richard Foster says he imagines that God often says to all of us, “Yes, I am with you always, but will you choose to be with me?”
Being with God is both something we give time over to, as a holy offering, but it is also something we reap back great things from, in proportion to how we sow.
Consider the power of the witness that came from those first disciples, they obeyed Jesus they went back to the Upper Room in Jerusalem and they waited for power to come upon them, the Holy Spirit to come upon them.
Likewise, still today, power comes upon us from God, when we sit like Mary did at the feet of Jesus; in Bible Study, in prayer groups, in worship, in healing worship, and in meditation on the Word of God.
In today’s Gospel lesson consider those servants, each one- given talents according to their ability. Abilities are not static. If we have God given abilities, we can, by sitting at the feet of Jesus and practicing our abilities, we can have them grow.
A few years ago, on a Sunday evening I asked Donna her opinion on what wood working project I should use with the children in Vacation Bible School. She thought a wooden box might make a good thing for the children to build and keep. I agreed and found plans for a simple one with four sides and showed her. Donna replied, “Why not add a bottom, how much could a sheet of plywood cost?” Now Donna and I were the only two humans in that room for the discussion.
The next morning early, I received this e-mail from a former parishioner Joan, “Pastor what are you building, I have the feeling I am supposed to buy you a sheet of plywood”.
Joan is, and was, an avid disciple of Jesus Christ who daily sits at the feet of Jesus, who attends and provides Spirit led leadership in many Bible studies, prayer groups, healing worship, Tres-Dias, United Methodist Women, and the list goes on. Joan invests time at the feet of Jesus, and I will testify that this is why I believe she heard the Holy Spirit urge her to e-mail me.
Why would God care about this? Why would God speak to Joan? Because a few short weeks later, as the children in VBS sat holding those finished boxes with the plywood bottoms I was able to share this story with them and looking them in their eyes I said to them, for as long as you own these boxes remember that God above took to the time to share with Donna and Joan what we should do with putting a bottom on your box.
If God cares that much about a box you made and own, imagine how much God cares about the big things in your life. Count on God, seek God, ask God what you need, and learn to hear God’s voice so you too can one day help a whole group of people, maybe a whole group of children- know how close and active our God is.
Every one of us can have the depth of Spiritual hearing that Joan has, and we can have the God given courage to look a little foolish and send the e-mail, ask the question, offer the thought that seems to come from thin air.
For over twenty years in ministry I tried to urge/ convince members to do this or that. I wish I had asked us all to go back to the Upper Room and wait.
Learning at the feet of Jesus brings about all that’s needed for “thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” It does it from our inside out instead of from a pastor prodding. God loves you and so do I. Pastor Dave
Sermon given on November 19th 2017
Scriptures- Judges 4:1-7, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, Matthew 25:14-30