Sermon Starters

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

Ninth Sunday After Pentecost
Series C

Option #1:"Two Necessary Foods"
Luke 10:38-42
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.S., M.Div.

I. Body food–Matt. 14:15ff.; Lk. 12:15ff., 16:19ff.

Transition: NFL Training Camps open soon. Some teams hire cooks to prepare African-American fare, known as "soul food." Jesus is speaking about the real "soul food."

II. Soul Food-- Mark 4:18-20; John 17:3; 1 John 5:11-12; Deut. 30:19-20; Ps. 119:30-32; John 4:13-14, 5:24; 1 Pet. 1:4-5

Title: Word Pictures in the New Testament, Luke 10:42

The good portion (ten agathen merida). The best dish on the table, fellowship with Jesus. This is the spiritual application of the metaphor of the dishes on the table. Salvation is not "the good portion" for Martha had that also.

Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional

"Martha was cumbered about much serving." Luke 10:40

Her fault was not that she served: the condition of a servant well becomes every Christian. "I serve," should be the motto of all the princes of the royal family of heaven. Nor was it her fault that she had "much serving." We cannot do too much. Let us do all that we possibly can; let head, and heart, and hands, be engaged in the Master’s service. It was no fault of hers that she was busy preparing a feast for the Master. Happy Martha, to have an opportunity of entertaining so blessed a guest; and happy, too, to have the spirit to throw her whole soul so heartily into the engagement. Her fault was that she grew "cumbered with much serving," so that she forgot him, and only remembered the service. We ought to be Martha and Mary in one: we should do much service, and have much communion at the same time. For this we need great grace. It is easier to serve than to commune. The more spiritual the exercise, the sooner we tire in it.. Beloved, while we do not neglect external things, which are good enough in themselves, we ought also to see to it that we enjoy living, personal fellowship with Jesus. See to it that sitting at the Savior’s feet is not neglected. The first thing for our soul’s health, the first thing for his glory, and the first thing for our own usefulness, is to keep ourselves in perpetual communion with the Lord Jesus, and to see that the vital spirituality of our religion is maintained over and above everything else in the world.



CHILDREN’S MESSAGE ON LUKE 10:42 "Mary has chosen what is better." (Note Jesus’ word that Mary has chosen the best PORTION–"The best dish on the table.")

I’d like you to imagine that you & I are sitting at a dinner table. It’s late Summer and Mom has been getting a lot of food from the Garden. What she didn’t plant, she found at the Farmer’s Market. Now I need your help while we’re sitting at the Dinner Table here. I want you to think of your favorite food and I want you to ask for it when your turn comes.

All right? I’ll start: PASS THE SWEET CORN. (Allow children to ask that their favorite garden food be passed. If your church is intimate enough in its setting, consider asking adult members of the Congregation to participate by asking that their favorite garden food be passed. Don’t forget the meat foods either!)

Jesus had 12 Disciples. He was visiting the home of Mary & Martha & their brother Lazarus. Martha was the hostess and cook. We’re talking about providing a meal for 15 people and that’s just the ones we know about from this Bible story; there could have been more!

Martha was rushing around to get those food dishes ready so that her guests could pass them as we just pretended to do a few moments ago. Where was Mary? It’s dinner time and she’s still sitting in Sunday School! So Martha rushes to Jesus where Mary is learning His Word and she tells him: "Lord, tell my sister to help me!"

There wouldn’t be any dishes to pass if we didn’t serve each other in love the way Martha did. BUT... Jesus has to tell her that she’s forgetting something. She’s forgetting the most important DISH OF ALL–THE WORD OF GOD. Jeremiah the Prophet said it well: (Jer 15:16) When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight....

So pass the sweet corn, pass the peas, pass the red potatoes; pass the bratwurst too, but don’t skip the most important food of all which is God’s Word. Jesus said (John 6:35) "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." Don’t forget the main dish!

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Option #2: "God, The Promise Keeper"
Genesis 18:1-14
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

The Point: "We live by faith, not by sight." (2 Corinthians 5:7)
The Problem: ridiculing divine truths, laughing at angelic announcements, finding God's promises pleasant but unreal
The Promise: God makes His promises come true through His Son announced to Mary and, in the end, like Sarah, we learn to look back at our lack of faith and laugh.
(Based on and adapted from an outline by Dale Meyer)
1. "...when a man takes an oath, he holds his own self in his hands, like water, and when he opens his hands he need not hope to find himself again." (From A Man For All Seasons)
2. Clearly the Lord’s timing in the fulfillment of a promise may not coincide with our plans, but this does not negate the validity of the promise. Paul said it best: "Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us" (Romans 5:5). (Raney Rivers)
3. God...acts in [our]...history to reveal that he is not a God limited by human impossibilities, but a God who can bring newness into the most final of human endings. (Dennis Bratcher)
4. Yahweh [always] has the last laugh.


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