for Sunday, October 13, 2013
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
21st Sunday after Pentecost
lectionary focus: 2 Timothy 2:8-15
note: A key word in this sermon is “chained.” Since I think this word can sound like ‘change,’ I include the definition and examples of ‘chained’ so that the listeners will hear the intended word.
Awhile back, when my friend Zachary was about six years old, he spent a Saturday afternoon with me. One of the things we did was stop by the grocery store. And right there in the middle of the cereal aisle, we found Pastor Sid! Well, Zach just stood there staring with his eyes wide and his mouth open, like this: (do the face). And when Pastor Sid said “Hello,” Zach blurted out, “What are you doing here?” Pastor Sid replied that he was doing his grocery shopping and trying to decide which cereal to buy. Then Zachary said, “You mean, they let you out of the church?”
Yes, it does seem funny…I mean, Zachary always saw Sid at church, and when we know people in one place, it is strange to see them in another place…especially someplace as ordinary as the grocery store. But people are people, no matter what they do, and people go different places.
Most of our Bible stories happen within a small area of the world. And the places where Jesus taught are all in a smaller area. But even there, Jesus did not teach and preach and heal in just one place. Jesus was always moving from one place to another: from the mountain to the river to the sea, from big cities to small villages, from fancy neighborhoods to dangerous neighborhoods. Jesus went to where there were people, all kinds of people, so He could share the love of God with everyone.
In our Bible story today, we hear that God is not chained. God is not locked up in one place with a metal chain…like a bike chained to a post or a dog chained to a fence or a boat chained to a pier. God is not chained here to the chancel steps. Each week, Pastor Sid tells us to go forth into the world with God. We go forth as the hands AND feet of God. We use our hands to do God’s work and we use our feet to walk out of this church and all over the place to share God’s love. This building may be our church, but the world is God’s church…and so it should never be strange to find ourselves sharing God’s love outside these walls. Whether we are learning at school or playing with friends or shopping for cereal, we are with God here, there, and everywhere.
Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it back.)
that You are not chained to one place.
that You are everywhere.
to do Your work
and share Your love
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.