Sermon Notes for July 24, 2011

from a blog by Ronnie Ding of Malaysia

The scriptures for the 6th Sunday after Pentecost (Year A, Proper 12):

Genesis 29:15-28
Psalm 105:1-11, 45b
Romans 8:26-39
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

  • Much like last week, you get a Jacob story, and another parable from Jesus.  You can’t go wrong storytelling.  It has been my experience that people remember stories and pictures better than they can remember a theological statement or an exegetical comment.  So, tell the stories and paint some pictures…
  • Jacob, the trickster/the supplanter (literally), is at it again–here are some notes from Howard Wallace, an Australian professor, on the passage: Genesis 29:15-28
  • Mustard seeds and treasure in the field might seem like they are way over used (they even seem a little like last week’s Gospel)…so the preacher needs to find a different angle. Maybe take Jesus’ advice from the last verse of the passage:
    52And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
  • I personally like the Epistle Lesson this week.  The Romans 8 passage is a staple from the Service of Death and Resurrection in the UM Book of Worship and in the Book of Common Prayer.  If you have done a funeral in the past few weeks in your church, you have an opportunity to make the connection between the lives of the saints and living the everyday life of Christian existence.  It is of great comfort to those who are struggling to hear the wisdom of Paul:
    38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
  • Sermon Starters from the Church of Scotland for this week.  The Romans and Matthew passages are treated in succinct way and offer some good hints on preaching the NT.
  • From my own experience, I have never planted the mustard seed from the first century that Jesus references, but I have planted many a seed in my lifetime.  I once planted a pumpkin seed, that yielded a 100 lb. pumpkin.  One squash seed produced close to 40 lbs. of squash in a season and filled the freezer up.  I currently have a  dill plant in my garden that is 5 feet tall, and is actually a third generation plant that comes from a flake of a seed planted three years ago.  I am convinced that the Kingdom is like this.

“My God of peace, of joy and delight,
I offer you all my tears, all my ignorance.
My God of peace, of joy and delight,
I offer you all my fears and fractured promises.
You, my God, know all this, all this;
How poor I am, how small I am;
You, my God, know all this, all this.
Yet what I have, my God, I give to you.”

[Paul Verlaine 1844-1896]

(Thanks to Bruce Prewer from Australia for his collection of poems and prayers)

JUST ADDED–7/20/11

RCL Weekly Bible Study (Episcopal Church)


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