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Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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


Two Sermon Starters To Consider:

Starter #1: "Divine Irrigation"
Epiphany VI--Series B
Text: II Kings 5:1-14

A. Shallow Waters

1. A little child leading: the slave girl delivering a message of healing to Naaman

2. Seemingly belittled by God's prophet: Elisha doesn't appear personally but, instead, sends a messenger

3. Washing in a minor tributary: the Jordan River--murky, leading to the Dead Sea--not the bigger and better rivers of Damascus, which well irrigate the adjacent fertile fields

B. The Deep!

1. A Little Child leading: Jesus delivering God's message of healing to the whole world

2. The biggest of personal appearances: God through the Prophet, Priest & King Jesus

3. A minor tributary becoming major: 800 years post-Naaman, another prophet (John the Baptist) washing (Baptism) in the Jordan River "for the forgiveness of sins" (Luke 3:3)

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

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Starter #2: "How Did She Know That?"
Epiphany VI-Series B
2 Kings 5:1-14

Note: The Disciples' Study Bible reminds us why this text was chosen for the Epiphany Season, as God also in the Old Testament revealed His love for Gentiles through His Word and His Works.

I. Because someone took seriously the Lord's command to educate children.

A. As seen in Deut. 6:1-9
B. As seen in Ps. 71:17

II. Because someone had taught her that God takes a personal interest in His creation.

A. He hears our prayers
     1. As in Ps. 91:15
     2. As in Is. 58:9
     3. As in Mark 10:15
B. He is Almighty
C. He answers prayers for healing, according to His will
     1. As in Matt. 8:1-3
     2. As the news spread about him, more healings took
                       place, as in Lk. 5:15

III. Because someone had taught her to love her enemies.

A. As the Lord had said in Lev. 19:18
B. As Jesus said in Matt. 5:44-47
C. As Jesus demonstrated in praying for His enemies while on the cross.
D. As Jesus demonstrated by dying for the sins of the whole world.   (John 3:16 & Rom. 5:10)

IV. Because someone had taught her that the Word of God changes lives.

A. As shown in the response of Naaman after his healing in 2 Kings 5:18-19
B.  As Paul writes in  Rom. 1:16
C.  As Paul writes in 2 Cor. 5:17-19
D.  Naaman was physically refreshed in his healing from leprosy.  God also promises spiritual refreshment in Acts 3:19
 

Comment:  Miracles help people in need without regard for their race position or residence. Miracles respond to humble faith. The story of Naaman is a story of faith, first the faith of a little servant girl in his household; then, after God humbled him, Naaman's faith.
    God was to provide the healing, and He was to be obeyed. After first resisting, Naaman was counseled to wash in the Jordan, and he was cleansed. Only God's chosen prophet, not the King, could be God's instrument. Only God's chosen place could be the setting. Only obedience to God's command, not angry pride, made the person open to miraculous healing. Profession of faith in the only God, not payment for the prophet, was the intended result.
    The frustrated Syrian leader already had humbled himself by coming to a conquered land for help and rebelled at having to immerse himself in waters he thought inferior to those in his native land. God's miracle required that the visitor be willing to humble himself, that he wait patiently, and that he trust the unspectacular as the means of God's grace and healing.  The act of healing revealed God's willingness to help a non-Israelite, the power of Israel's god as being greater than all other gods, and the authority of Elisha the Prophet. 
 
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.S., M.Div.

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