A sermon starter for the 2nd Sunday of Pentecost, June 14, 2020
“Jesus sent them out...”As you go proclaim the good news,”The kingdom of heaven has come near. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out the demons.”
Dear friends in Christ,
A friend remembers being sent by his mother. He carried her note in his hand. It wasn’t meant for him but the owner of the corner grocery store. He merely carried the message. It said, “Please send some flour, salt, yeast and sugar and put it on my tab.”
Jesus sends us out. We carry his message to another. He commissioned us to proclaim the good news to the people of the world who are facing the Covid-19 pandemic, economic challenges and racial strife. That they might turn their fear into faith.
This is the good news. The Kingdom of heaven has come near to us in Jesus. “In him God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ will die for us. We are justified by our faith and have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We are the sent ones charged to bring hope and peace to the world. We are the bearers of his good news, “ God loves you! God is with us!”
He said we are to start with the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Some want to tell us the U.S. is a post - Christian nation. Others scoff at the absurdity of believing in anything absolute. Many desire to worship the god of materialism. People can grow crusty with traditions. We may be near sighted. But Jesus said start here. Begin with the people of your household, your family, your community. They need to know that God loves and cares for them. Do you know any person who is sick? Pray for them! Is there anyone who needs a friend? Strike up a conversation! Spend more time listening than giving advice. It communicates that you care! Think of the times you have talked to God about your problems and left feeling the better for it! This time let them do most of the talking. Tell them you will pray for them. Then find those who have sinned and look for the opportunity to tell them what you do when you mess up. How you go to God and confess that you made a mistake. How you said the wrong thing, lived selfishly and let God, the other and yourself down. That you ask God’s forgiveness and thank him for his grace in Jesus. Because God forgives and you can start over.
For guilt is like a crumbling building. It keeps piling up higher and higher. Before there can be a new building the debris must be cleared away. It is folly for a person to think that they can make a fresh start as long as their life is cluttered up with haunting memories , nagging remorse and festering guilt. We are to lay aside every weight if we are to run the race. We cannot do that carrying heavy chain. The supreme gift of the cross is the forgiveness of our sins. To have our Lord say that he will not remember our sins but has forgiven them and removed them as far as the east is from the west. We may still be harassed by the rubble of past failures and scars may remain but God’s promise is real. There is comfort in the love of God that forgives.
We are the sent ones. We carry his message to the world. We are the yeast and the salt that will bring life to the world as we share his love.
Resuming care-filled and sacramental life during a pandemic, June 27 at 5:30 p.m. worship and Sunday, June 28 at 9:30 a.m. worship. No 8 a.m. worship.
OUR SAVIOR'S LUTHERAN CHURCH, 2465 WEST SANDWICH RD, SANDWICH, IL 60548-4148, United States