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Sermon and Worship Resources
13th Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 17 (22), year A
Sermon and Worship Resources

 "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  Mt 16:24

Texts & Discussion:
Exodus 3:1-15
Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c
Jeremiah 15:15-21
Psalm 26:1-8
Romans 12:9-21
Matthew 16:21-28


This Week's Themes:
God's Calling and
Human Response

Genuine Service
Christ and Suffering


Poem: Anyway -- Mother Teresa  (from Meditations from a Simple Path)

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish motives.
Do good anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable.
Be honest and transparent anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People who really want help may attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt.
Give the world your best anyway.





Children's Messages:

Signs--God's Attention-Getters
a children's sermon based on Exodus 3:1-15
by Rev. Frank Schaefer

Sermon Excerpt:

The Real Thing
a sermon based on Romans 12: 9-21
by David G. Rogne

The historian, Will Durant, once confessed that he had sought happiness in knowledge, and found only disillusionment. He then looked for happiness in travel and found weariness; in wealth, but found discord and worry. He looked for happiness in his writing and was only fatigued. One day at a train station he saw a woman waiting in a tiny car with a sleeping child in her arms. A man descended from the train, gently kissed her, softly kissed the baby, so as not to awaken him and they drove off happily together. Then it struck him. Happiness is found in relationships.

This was also the conclusion of the Apostle Paul. In the scripture which was read for us earlier, Paul suggests that life is found in love, and love is lived out in relationships. Without any indication of pattern, Paul lays before his readers a rather random list of the ways love is expressed in a variety of relationships. He says, "Let love be genuine." If one wants to give expression to the real thing, these are some of the ways genuine love is shown.

The first way love is expressed is in ethical actions. He says: "Hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good."  When Harry Emerson Fosdick was at the height of his influence as the senior minister of the Riverside Church, New York City, he was making a tour of the Holy Land and other countries of the Near East. He was invited to give an address before the American University in Beirut, Lebanon. Among the members of the student body were citizens of many countries and representatives of some 16 different religions. What could he say, he wondered, that would be relevant or even of interest to so mixed and varied a group? He began by saying, "I do not ask any of you here to change your religion; but I do ask all of you to face up to this question: 'What is your religion doing to your character? And that is the bottom line in religion, isn't it? How does what you believe affect your conduct?

When Abraham Lincoln was a young lawyer, he happened to witness a slave auction during which a black family was being broken up, with members being sold to different individuals. Witnessing the agony of the slaves, Lincoln commented that slavery was an evil. "If I ever get the chance to hit this thing," he said, "I'll hit it, and hit it hard." When he became president, that is exactly what he did.

Love is expressed ethically by hating what is evil and holding fast to what is right.

Paul next has advice for expressing love among fellow Christians. here for the full sermon manuscript.