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4th Sunday after Pentecost
Sermon and Worship Resources

"Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple--truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward."    Matthew 10:42
 

Texts & Discussion:
Genesis 22:1-14
Psalm 13 or
Jeremiah 28:5-9
Psalm 89:1-4, 15-18
Romans 6:12-23
Matthew 10:40-42


 

This Week's Themes:
 
Human Obedience and God's Provision
Grace & Sanctification
Reward for Service

 

Hospitality Prayer
by Rev. F. Schaefer

God of Wisdom, God of Love we celebrate your faithful  presence in our lives.  You are near us by day and night; you never fail to greet us each new morning.  Though we often turn away from you, you are ever concerned with our well-being, watching over us like a mother watches her little ones.  Teach us, Lord, to live our lives in the wholeness of your eternal values.  We need your guidance and grace to be able to live in harmony with one another, show hospitality to the strangers among us, and to minister to the needy.

By your spirit enable us to live a life in purity of thought and action, in humility of heart and generosity of giving. Help us never to forget that it was your unmerited grace that lifted us from a lowly and sinful state;  may we never fall into the fallacy of the Pharisees who thought higher of themselves than of others.  Enable us to follow in Jesus' footsteps and embrace those the world considers last, least, and lost. Amen.

 

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Sermon Excerpt:

Everyday Heroes
Matthew 10:40-42
by Rev. Frank Schaefer

"Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple--truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward. Matthew 10:40-42

Just a week ago--as I was thinking about these words by Jesus--I came across this headline:

Woman helps blind Chicago Cubs fan hail a taxi outside Wrigley Field
- Casey Spelman helped a blind man hail a cab outside Wrigley Field in Chicago
- As the 26-year-old helped the man, a witness took photos and put them online
- She was happy she was there to help and that he was able to find a ride home

Isn’t that a perfect modern-day example of what Jesus is talking about? If we all started to be a bit kinder to one another, this world would be such a happier and peaceful place.

And notice that according to Jesus’ words, it doesn’t take a huge effort. It doesn’t take an act of bravery to show a gesture of kindness. Just welcoming another person who God sends your way, just helping a blind man hail a taxi, just giving a cup of water to a child will have tremendous rewards. Superheroes not necessarily needed...just everyday heroes.

It’s interesting to me that it’s often harder to show little gestures of kindness than to perform heroic deeds. In one of my wedding speeches, I ask each wedding party, whether they would be willing to take a bullet for their partner, and both usually answer with an enthusiastic “yes, of course!” “Well, that’s wonderful and a testimony to your great love. “ And then I follow up with this question: “tell me this: if your partner asks you to do a daily chore, like mowing the lawn, or stopping by the grocery store on the way home coming from work, would you be willing to do that without grumbling on a regular basis?”

The truth is that it’s often easier for us human beings to show grand heroic gestures than to show small gestures of kindness in the routine of everyday life. Ask me to rescue a baby from a burning building and I’ll snap into action; ask me to take out the trash and I will likely bark at you or whine about it when I finally drag myself up to do it.... Subscribers: click here for the full sermon manuscript.

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