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Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor


Sixth Sunday After Pentecost 

Option A: From Rev. Kelly Bedard 

"(God's) True Love Waits"
Lamentations 3:22-33

[This sermon outline is in essence a summary of the themes and theology of
the Book of Lamentations as per Concordia Self-Study Bible, page 1218-1219]

A. Divine Retribution: Israel's sin and rebellion results in:
    1. Wholesale devastation and slaughter (e.g., starving mothers reduced to cannibalism [2:20; 4:10])

    2. Being dragged off to exile (1:3, 18) and an end to the elaborate system of worship and ceremony (1:4, 10)

B. Divine Restitution: The goodness of God--love (3:22), faithfulness (23)
and salvation (26)--produces:

    1. Heartfelt contrition (3:40-42)

    2. Repentance (5:21-22)

Notes:

1. "Great love" (verse 22)
    a. Plural; God's faithfulness to His Covenant promises
    b. "Considering the wickedness of man it is a marvel that any remains alive: but only that God for His own mercies sake and for His promise will ever have His Church remain, though they are never so few in number" (Geneva notes)

2. "Faithfulness" (verse 23): firmness, security, moral fidelity, stability

3. "Wait" (verse 25)
    a. To bind together by twisting, collect, expect hopefully
    b. "The godly put their whole confidence in God, and therefore look for no other inheritance" (Geneva notes)

4. "Compassion" (verse 32): to fondle; mercy; womb; bowels; pity; tender love

Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div..
------------

Option B: From Rev. Wayne Dobratz

"The Word Of Life"
Mark 5:21-24a; 35-43

Intro: "She kept on getting weaker, as day dragged into day. The Doctors gave no hope for her; she just seemed to fade away. My hours were filled with constant dread; time became a knife that slowly and relentlessly cut the cord of life."

Anyone who has sat with a family member in the Intensive Care Unit can identify with Don Francisco's eloquent, emotional words. That's how he begins his modern-day retelling of the Raising of Jairus' Daughter from the Dead. It is one of those Bible stories you can hear 500 times and never grow tired of it. Our fears, our hopes, our love for family and friends--they are all the same as those of a desperate Synagogue ruler who sought out Jesus for His help. Jesus gave Jairus...

"The Word Of Life"

I. The Problem
  A. Sin
      1. It started the process of decay and dissolution--Gen. 2:17
      2. Death passed to all--Rom. 3:23, 1 Cor. 15:22
  B. Anxiety--Heb. 2:14-17
  C. Death--Rom. 6:23a

II. The Promise
 A. Of victory over death--Gen. 3:15, Isa. 25:7-8,  vv. 35- 36, 38-39--"Not
dead, but asleep"
 B. Of Eternal Life--John 6:40

III. The Fulfillment
 A. The Word of Life brought her back from death--vv.41-42
 B. He reunited those separated by death's cruel hand here and in Lk. 7:15
 C. Jesus' powerful Word will reunite all of Abraham's children who were devastated by death--Rev. 21:4, 1 Cor. 15:54

Comments:
Matthew Henry writes: "We may suppose Jairus hesitating whether he should ask Christ to go on or not, when told that his daughter was dead. But have we not as much occasion for the grace of God, and the comfort of his Spirit, for the prayers of our ministers and Christian friends, when death is in the house, as when sickness is there?

Faith is the only remedy against grief and fear at such a time. Believe the resurrection, then fear not. He raised the dead child to life by a word of power. Such is the gospel call to those who are by nature dead in trespasses and sins. It is by the word of Christ that spiritual life is given. All who saw it, and heard of it, admired the miracle, and Him that worked it. Though we cannot now expect to have our dead children or relatives restored, we may hope to find comfort under our  trials."

Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.S., M.Div.  

Option Three: (For those using the Sermon Series Planner)
"Know God's Guidance"
Ex. 3:1-15

I What indicators do you use to discern whether God is guiding you?
A. Gut Feelings, Intuition
B. Omens and Portends
C. "If it feels good, it must be God!" ???
D. All these fall short.
E. Knowing God's Guidance is much deeper than superficial, egocentric,
self-serving indicators. Seen only in
    1. His Word
    2. His Promise

II Ways Moses Knew God's Guidance
A. Until this incident, it may have been a struggle for him as for us. Why
else would he be a misguided shepherd???
B. Burning Bush: Proof Positive of..
    1. God's Guidance
    2. God's Promise
    3. God's calling to him.
C. Moses' response to this "Proof Positive" experience: Rejection
D. Why did Moses reject it?
    1. Was the sign not dramatic enough?
    2. Was God's Word not convincing enough?
E. Moses rejected it--multiple times--because he lacked faith...even with
additional signs!

III We're Like Moses
A. The problem is not the sign. It's not God. It's not His promises.
B. The problem is our faith, our reluctance, our short-sightedness, our
dependence on signs!
C. The only sign we need is the sign raised by Moses: John 3:15
D. When in grace, we don't need to "seek" signs. We just live by the
confidence of knowing God's gracious guidance in our lives.
E. When we have this knowledge, we're totally available--and joyously
vulnerable--to following Him.

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:32 PM