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Talk and Walk the Talk
Mt. 21:28-32
Pastor Dave Peterson

Several years ago a song swept through the Bible Camps about living as God's Child…about Reputation and Responsibility. I've always enjoyed it's simple message…..

It was early one morning in small western town, the church was near empty, it didn't get us down. We asked Mrs. Phillips to lead us in prayer, the words that she said hit me dead in my chair.

CHORUS --She said a life is a Bible for some folks to see, I wonder just want they are reading in me. Are they reading God's mercy and love in my life, are they reading pain, jealousy, envy, or strive. I wonder just what they are reading in me.

Well I never quite looked at my life in that way, our lives tell a story everyday. When we're living in the darkness it shows on our face, we're called out as Christians but bring Jesus disgrace.

But when we're livin' in the light, it shines like a neon sign they see the truth in us, they know we're not lying. When we're living with the joy that's been placed in our soul, we have a peace of mind that will never grow old.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who comes to us through His Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today's Gospel is about reputation and about responsibility.

About Reputation…….

It was on a beautiful fall day, about a year ago, that I was heading home from the church at the end of the afternoon when I turned the corner onto Corbett Road….and noticed one of our Young People working outside of the Holland House…… I beeped my horn, waved an acknowledgement and continued on my way home….

And then, I experienced the strangest thing ….As I turned the corner onto Pembina trail I noticed a different spirit about me and within me…..I didn't have the typical afternoon tiredness. I was charged, feeling energized and excited about something…..and I didn't know what it was!! I didn't know where it had come from…..it simply appeared. I started analyzing and replaying what had happened on my drive home…..to bring this on…..

And what I finally realized was that as my thoughts had continued to be with that Young Person…who will remain unnamed as I don't want to give them any embarrassment…..as my thoughts remained with that young person….I thought about this person's reputation….And it felt GOOD!!

I KNEW that not only would the job that was being done would get done….but it would be done WELL….because that was the type of person this person was……they had developed a reputation for top quality performance in anything they were asked to do…and they would do it WELL!!! And I felt a pride and energy FOR THEM…..and excitement for the person that they had become!!!

And Jesus told a parable….."a man had two children and asked them to go and work . The first said, "Yes, I'll go…..and then never went. And he went to the second and asked the same, and that child yes, "I won't go…..yet afterward went and worked." Now which of the two did the will of the Father?"

It's a Gospel Parable about Reputation……about who we are in God's Kingdom!! It invites each person to ask, "What's your reputation in your work and in your commitments? When asked to go and serve to go and do….what will people see in you and in me; do we just talk the talk…..or move to the next step of walking the walk?? This young person had moved to the next step of walking the walk in doing so had developed an incredible reputation in our community. Anyone who knew this person KNEW that when they said they would do something……there was never a question……

This is also a Gospel Parable about Responsibility…..About doing God's Will!!

Within the Lutheran Church we hear over and over again about God's Grace and Love and Mercy and Forgiveness for His people…..we need to hear this. We need to know that we belong to God and are recipients of his great love for us. But this in only of the picture. We also need to hear of his call for us to be responsible members of His family.

Today's Gospel brings us that call as it invites us to see this other side of the coin.

As Parents we're always trying to teach about this responsibility side of the coin. The other day I stumbled upon this little saying as I was trying to teach about responsibility….. How do you expect me to say yes to more privileges when you haven't said yes to responsibilities. For, in order for mom and dad to say YES to more privileges (freedoms), you need to say yes to more responsibilities….

Privilege and responsibility; they go hand in hand!!

Some have said that if we have a Statue of Liberty in New York City, we also need to have a Statue of Responsibility in San Francisco…..they go hand in hand with each other….freedom and responsibility….they are two sides of the same coin.

….."a man had two children and asked them to go and work . The first said, "Yes, I'll go…..and then never went. And he went to the second and asked the same, and that child yes, "I won't go…..yet afterward went and worked." Now which of the two did the will of the Father?"

Actually, how much better it would have been for this man to have had a third child who both talked the talked AND walked the walk……and said, "Yes, I'll go…..and went….and did a fabulous job…..!!"

It's a Gospel Parable of reputation, a Gospel of responsibility…….

In the bigger picture of First Lutheran, For the past three years we've used a program called CONSECRATION WEEKEND for our Stewardship Emphasis…..and you, God's People at First Lutheran have responded. It's a program that emphasized the need for God's People to Give……

God's people need to give…..this is part of what it means to do the Will of the Father!!

This fall we're in the midst of our CHRISTFIRST campaign….a campaign that listens and prays for God's Will as we Vision and Dream and make plans for the future of First Lutheran…..In this ChristFirst campaign, each person will be invited to prayerfully respond to God's call to them when we Worship on October 30th and 31st Celebration Sunday.

What will our response be…..What will the response of God's people be? IT seems that we do have choices to make with our reputation and with our responsibility as God's children.

Today we hear a Gospel Parable….. ….."a man had two children and asked them to go and work . The first said, "Yes, I'll go…..and then never went. And he went to the second and asked the same, and that child yes, "I won't go…..yet afterward went and worked." Now which of the two did the will of the Father?"

How much better to be the unnamed third child……the one who, upon hearing the call of God in their live says, "Yes I'll go…..and goes…..and serves….the one who both talks the talk AND walks the walk!!!"

Amen. Pastor Dave Peterson First Lutheran Church www.firstlutheranchurch.com September 26, 1999 Matthew 21:28-32

Several years ago a song swept through the Bible Camps about living as God's Child…about Reputation and Responsibility. I've always enjoyed it's simple message…..

It was early one morning in small western town, the church was near empty, it didn't get us down. We asked Mrs. Phillips to lead us in prayer, the words that she said hit me dead in my chair.

CHORUS --She said a life is a Bible for some folks to see, I wonder just want they are reading in me. Are they reading God's mercy and love in my life, are they reading pain, jealousy, envy, or strive. I wonder just what they are reading in me.

Well I never quite looked at my life in that way, our lives tell a story everyday. When we're living in the darkness it shows on our face, we're called out as Christians but bring Jesus disgrace.

But when we're livin' in the light, it shines like a neon sign they see the truth in us, they know we're not lying. When we're living with the joy that's been placed in our soul, we have a peace of mind that will never grow old.

Grace and peace to you from God our Father, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who comes to us through His Holy Spirit, Amen.

Today's Gospel is about reputation and about responsibility.

About Reputation…….

It was on a beautiful fall day, about a year ago, that I was heading home from the church at the end of the afternoon when I turned the corner onto Corbett Road….and noticed one of our Young People working outside of the Holland House…… I beeped my horn, waved an acknowledgement and continued on my way home….

And then, I experienced the strangest thing ….As I turned the corner onto Pembina trail I noticed a different spirit about me and within me…..I didn't have the typical afternoon tiredness. I was charged, feeling energized and excited about something…..and I didn't know what it was!! I didn't know where it had come from…..it simply appeared. I started analyzing and replaying what had happened on my drive home…..to bring this on…..

And what I finally realized was that as my thoughts had continued to be with that Young Person…who will remain unnamed as I don't want to give them any embarrassment…..as my thoughts remained with that young person….I thought about this person's reputation….And it felt GOOD!!

I KNEW that not only would the job that was being done would get done….but it would be done WELL….because that was the type of person this person was……they had developed a reputation for top quality performance in anything they were asked to do…and they would do it WELL!!! And I felt a pride and energy FOR THEM…..and excitement for the person that they had become!!!

And Jesus told a parable….."a man had two children and asked them to go and work . The first said, "Yes, I'll go…..and then never went. And he went to the second and asked the same, and that child yes, "I won't go…..yet afterward went and worked." Now which of the two did the will of the Father?"

It's a Gospel Parable about Reputation……about who we are in God's Kingdom!! It invites each person to ask, "What's your reputation in your work and in your commitments? When asked to go and serve to go and do….what will people see in you and in me; do we just talk the talk…..or move to the next step of walking the walk?? This young person had moved to the next step of walking the walk in doing so had developed an incredible reputation in our community. Anyone who knew this person KNEW that when they said they would do something……there was never a question……

This is also a Gospel Parable about Responsibility…..About doing God's Will!!

Within the Lutheran Church we hear over and over again about God's Grace and Love and Mercy and Forgiveness for His people…..we need to hear this. We need to know that we belong to God and are recipients of his great love for us. But this in only of the picture. We also need to hear of his call for us to be responsible members of His family.

Today's Gospel brings us that call as it invites us to see this other side of the coin.

As Parents we're always trying to teach about this responsibility side of the coin. The other day I stumbled upon this little saying as I was trying to teach about responsibility….. How do you expect me to say yes to more privileges when you haven't said yes to responsibilities. For, in order for mom and dad to say YES to more privileges (freedoms), you need to say yes to more responsibilities….

Privilege and responsibility; they go hand in hand!!

Some have said that if we have a Statue of Liberty in New York City, we also need to have a Statue of Responsibility in San Francisco…..they go hand in hand with each other….freedom and responsibility….they are two sides of the same coin.

….."a man had two children and asked them to go and work . The first said, "Yes, I'll go…..and then never went. And he went to the second and asked the same, and that child yes, "I won't go…..yet afterward went and worked." Now which of the two did the will of the Father?"

Actually, how much better it would have been for this man to have had a third child who both talked the talked AND walked the walk……and said, "Yes, I'll go…..and went….and did a fabulous job…..!!"

It's a Gospel Parable of reputation, a Gospel of responsibility…….

In the bigger picture of First Lutheran, For the past three years we've used a program called CONSECRATION WEEKEND for our Stewardship Emphasis…..and you, God's People at First Lutheran have responded. It's a program that emphasized the need for God's People to Give……

God's people need to give…..this is part of what it means to do the Will of the Father!!

This fall we're in the midst of our CHRISTFIRST campaign….a campaign that listens and prays for God's Will as we Vision and Dream and make plans for the future of First Lutheran…..In this ChristFirst campaign, each person will be invited to prayerfully respond to God's call to them when we Worship on October 30th and 31st Celebration Sunday.

What will our response be…..What will the response of God's people be? IT seems that we do have choices to make with our reputation and with our responsibility as God's children.

Today we hear a Gospel Parable….. ….."a man had two children and asked them to go and work . The first said, "Yes, I'll go…..and then never went. And he went to the second and asked the same, and that child yes, "I won't go…..yet afterward went and worked." Now which of the two did the will of the Father?"

How much better to be the unnamed third child……the one who, upon hearing the call of God in their live says, "Yes I'll go…..and goes…..and serves….the one who both talks the talk AND walks the walk!!!"

Amen.