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Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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


The Sixth Sunday After Epiphany
Series B

Option #1: "How A Child's Faith Led To A Miracle"
2 Kings 5:1-14
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div. 

I. Because she was educated in God’s Word--Deut 4:9; 6:1-7; Ex 12:26-28; Ps 78:4-6; Eph 6:4

II. Because she had to speak of what she had learned--text, vv1-3; Num 11:29; Prov 10:21; Isa 43:21; Matt 5:15-16, 12:35ff; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Pet 2:9, 3:15

Charles Haddon Spurgeon has this comment on Psalm 78:6 in his "Treasury of David":

"That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born." As far on as our brief life allows us to arrange, we must industriously provide for the godly nurture of youth... The narratives, commands, and doctrines of the word of God are not worn out; they are calculated to exert an influence as long as our race shall exist. "Who should arise and declare them to their children." The one object aimed at is transmission; the testimony is given that it may be passed on to succeeding generations.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament re: 1 Peter 2:9: "That ye should show forth the praises of him." The Greek word (arete˘˘) means properly "good quality, excellence" of any kind. It means here the excellences of God--His goodness, His wondrous deeds, or those things which make it proper to praise Him. This shows one great object for which they were redeemed. It was that they might proclaim the glory of God and keep up the remembrance of His wondrous deeds in the earth.

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The Message For Children (2 Kings 5:1-14)

Visual aids: a baseball and a pie pan

Tell me some things that moms and dads teach kids your age: how to fish, how to hunt, how to throw a baseball, how to bake a cake, how to bake cookies, how to bake a pie. Moms and dads and other big folks are pretty good at showing kids how to do things. They may even help you with your math or with language or science.

But you know something? There’s one thing you probably do a whole lot better than most big people, and that’s talking about Jesus. When people grow up, they don’t talk as well about Jesus as you do. But let’s find out. Who can answer these questions?

Who is Jesus?

Why did He come to earth?

What happened on Good Friday?

What happened on the Sunday after Good Friday?

Sometimes big people forget that it’s every Christian’s job to tell the good news about Jesus. So make sure you never lose it and make sure you give it away whenever you can, just like the little girl of Israel in today’s Old Testament Reading. This little girl was away from home, away from her mom and dad, but she still loved God. She shared her faith that God could cure leprosy for a very important general.

You have a Savior who died for your sins and rose from the dead. You have a Savior who cures sin and gives eternal life. Let’s share him with as many people as we can.

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Option #2: "Our On-The-Run God!"
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
 
Point: Running with and for God is a lost cause--in other words, we're racing to find those who are lost.

Problem: Lost ourselves, we're sometimes too physical and/or physically oriented--like Naaman (OT lesson)--like the leper in today's Gospel, running at the mouth with the wrong "gospel"--or at least at the wrong time, running aimlessly.

Promise: God ran down Jesus for us and, via the Holy Spirit, runs to and through us so that others might join the race.
 
 
Notes:

1. [Paul] is not suggesting that the gospel teaches that there is a prize to be earned by hard work. For him the prize is the gospel itself; or, better, being able to be oneself confidently in the presence of God, the God who loves. Freed from the need to prove oneself and win prizes, we, with Paul, can be free to turn our attention from ourselves to others. For love and for ministry we can exercise discipline, ensure we get adequate ongoing training, and stay "fit"--in all relevant aspects! Why? So that we will one day be given a wreath? Be acknowledged as true apostles? No: rather, so that we may love more effectively. Otherwise, as Paul says, we will end up proclaiming the gospel to others, but ourselves miss the mark, indeed, contribute to the world's (and the church's) problems, not to its solutions. ...quite a good text for reflecting on the need for life-long education for ministry! (William Loader)
 
2. Whoever wins the rat race is still a rat. (Lily Tomlin)
 
3. Christ, who sets aside self-service and self-aggrandizement and takes on the humiliation of the cross--Christ who put himself last in the human race--has... qualified [us]. Now [we] are gifted with the call to "run," not from wrath, but in faith of this very same Christ, trusting in the mercy of God, who delights in putting sinners "back in the race"...
 
Gospel preaching offers the hearer a new race to run as it puts him on the track. The finish line is God's glory, not our own satisfaction. It is reached by servanthood rather than self-promotion. It is empowered by the wind at your back--the movement of the Holy Spirit. (Eric Evers)
 

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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 11:57:30 AM