for Sunday, August 5, 2012
10th Sunday after Pentecost
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time
lectionary focus: Psalm 51:1-12
prop: a pencil
note: While my Blessing of the Backpacks 2012 is scheduled for August 19, this sermon can be easily altered to fit that celebration. Today I focus on the eraser, but for Backpacks you can look at the whole pencil. There are many versions of the Pencil Sermon found throughout the Internet. (The year we used it, we gave each child a pencil with our church’s name on it.)
The other day, I found a box of pencils at my house. You probably have lots of pencils around your house, too. We use pencils to write and draw. They are a common tool. But behind every good pencil, is an eraser. We use erasers to remove mistakes and improve our work. Maybe we misspell something or maybe we get a better idea. The eraser lets us start fresh and make our writing better.
But what about other mistakes…big mistakes in our lives…maybe we hurt someone’s feelings or break a rule? How do we erase that? How do we start fresh and make our lives better?
Well, have you ever noticed that in order to use the eraser at the top of a pencil, we have to flip the pencil bringing the top down low? Likewise, in order to erase our pain when we make mistakes, we must lower our heads. When we bow our heads and ask God for forgiveness, the pain of our mess-ups is removed and we continue walking in the joy of the Lord.
Our Bible story today reminds us that by recognizing our errors and taking them to God, we in turn receive His forgiveness. God will create in us a clean heart and a right spirit.
Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)
for Your love.
for erasing the pain of my mistakes.
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.