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4th Sunday after Pentecost
Sermon and Worship Resources

 

Texts & Discussion:
Genesis 25:19-34
Psalm 119:105-112
Isaiah 55:10-13
Psalm 65:(1-8), 9-13
Romans 8:1-11
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23


 

This Week's Themes:
 
God's Providence vs. Human Tradition
Assurance of Salvation
Spiritual Growth
Outreach

 

Closing Words Of Blessing:

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
     and return not but water the earth,
     making it bring forth and sprout,
     giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth;
     it shall not return to me empty,
     but it shall accomplish that which I intend,
     and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

 

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Sermons:

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What Kind of Soil Are You?
based on Matthew 13:1-30, 36-43
by Rev. Karen A. Goltz

            What more can I say?  Jesus told a parable, and then he explained what it meant.  Weíre supposed to hear the Word, understand it, not be lured away by wealth or the cares of the world, and not fall away when trouble or persecution comes our way on account of our faith.  End of story.

            Show of hands.  How many of you are confident in your ability to be that good soil?  How many of you are confident that you do understand the Word, arenít lured away by other concerns, and will stand strong in your faith come what may?  Yeah, me neither.

            Itís really rather an anxiety-provoking text.  Itís clear from Jesusí explanation that weíre supposed to be the soil in this metaphor, but can soil control whether itís packed firmly into a road, surrounded by rocks, invaded by thorns and weeds, or pristine enough for planting?  No more so than we can decide whether to understand something or not.  So if we have no more control over how we receive the Word than soil has regarding its use or geography, what are we supposed to do with this text?

            Iím aware of two common responses: one is to stress over what kind of soil we are, and the other is to put ourselves in the place of the sower, rather than the soil.

            Iíve done both.  Looking back over my faith journey, I can point to times when I didnít have a clue what this religion thing was all about....

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