Sermon Starters

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

Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
Series B

Option #1: "Compassionate Love"
Mark 6:30-34
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.S., M.Div.

1) How it thinks--Matt 9:36ff, 14:14, 15:32ff; Rom 15:1ff; 2 Cor. 1:3

2) What it does--Matt 15:29-31, 20:34; Mk1:41-42, 6:53-56; 2 Cor 1:4; Heb 4:15-16

Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol. 1: Mark 6:34 They were as sheep not having a shepherd (esan hos probata me echonta poimena). The people had plenty of official leaders, but these rabbis were for spiritual matters blind leaders of the blind. Jesus had come over for rest, but his heart was touched by the pathos of this situation. So "he began to teach them many things" (erxato didaskein autous polla). Two accusatives with the verb of teaching and the present tense of the infinitive. He kept it up.

Richard Lenski, Interpretation of St. Luke--According to John 6:3-5, Jesus did secure a few hours of quiet with his disciples on the mountain side, where no one disturbed them. From this retreat Jesus came out and saw the multitude gathered below along the shore of the lake. It was this sight that melted his heart. Jesus saw more than a mass of people; he saw the spiritual condition of these people. Sheep without a shepherd stray helplessly and are bound to perish. He saw the fate of these people unless they were shepherded. So "He began to teach them many things." Luke is more specific: "He spoke to them about the Kingdom of God."

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CHILDREN'S MESSAGE ON MARK 6:34: When Jesus saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. Do you have cats in your house? We have two of them. There was a story in the paper the other day about how good it is for grandmas or grandpas who live alone to have a cat. So they decided to make it easier for them to get one and to solve another problem while they were at it. The doctors know that if grandma has somebody to take care of and talk to, she is more healthy. Her blood pressure goes down, she doesn’t get depressed as much, and she may even live longer. So here is what they decided to do. They took the grandma and grandpa cats in the shelter, age 7 and older, and made them available to senior citizens for only $10. It usually costs $50 to adopt a cat. So grandma gets a companion and the cat gets a home. Pretty good idea, wouldn’t you say?

Cats that don’t have anyone to take care of them are called "feral cats." They are loose on the outside and we often see them lying dead on the highway. Cats that have someone to care for them don’t let them outside. Some friends of ours lost one of their cats. They think he ended up as a coyote supper!

You didn't come to church to learn about cats, but actually I’ve been talking about us too. Like those stray cats, we needed someone to take care of us. Jesus looked at the people and saw them as sheep without a shepherd, so He began teaching them many things. When we listen to Him and when we talk to Him in prayer, we’re much better off, just as the cat is living with grandma.

Jesus had compassion on us. That means He cares about us, wants to take care of us now and forever. He does that when we listen to His Word. He makes our lives a lot better when we listen to His Word.

People at the animal shelter take care of lost cats and dogs and try to find them a home. The Bible says that God is our home (Ps 90). Jesus said that He is preparing a home for us and is coming back to take us to our Father’s house (John 14).

Just remember this: Jesus adopted us into His family the way we adopt a cat or a dog. But Jesus takes care of us forever!


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Option #2: "Only God's 'Peacefire' = Ceasefire"
Ephesians 2:13-22
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
Point: The sin/death war is over, even though battles rage on.
Problem: We argue and/or fight over ultimately petty differences and matters.
Promise: God unites us through the blood/cross of Jesus and, through the Holy Spirit, continues to make that unity known and sown.
1. It is not the mission to recruit strength and build power. It all depends so much on whether you see the goal as withdrawal to another source of power beyond all things or coming home to the source of love within all things which is seeking to bring and hold them together. (William Loader)
2. As Chrysostom explained, it is not that Christ has brought one up to the level of the other, but that he has produced a greater: "as if one should melt down one statue of silver and another of lead, and the two together should come out gold." (Wood)
3.When conflict arises among Christian groups of different backgrounds, you can be sure that they forget that they were saved by the same gospel and that they have the same access to God. One or both groups usually feel they have superior access to God. (David Guzik)

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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 01:00:19 PM