Lenten Series: Your Going Out, Your Coming In, Your Socks (Almsgiving)

bootsandsocksfor Sunday, March 16, 2014
2nd Sunday in Lent
Year A
lectionary focus: Psalm 121
note 1: This is part of our Lenten Series on Almsgiving. I originally thought I would use the lectionary from John for this sermon, but changed my mind to use the Psalm.
note 2: Have a basket to collect the socks.
note 3: Have cups (we are going to use red plastic cups) to pass out for next week’s almsgiving: collecting coins in cups for Living Waters of the World.

Look at all of the socks you have brought! Our basket is so full! Thank you! Thank you!

When we think of Bible stories, we don’t often think of socks. I think that most of the people back then wore sandals without socks. But in today’s story, we read from the book of Psalms. In verse one, we hear, “I lift up my eyes to the hills–from where will my help come?” I think you know the answer to the Psalmist’s question. In verse eight, we hear, “The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.” In this Psalm and throughout the Bible, we hear how God guides our feet, always here to help us, always here to love us, always here to walk with us.

For the past many weeks, Pastor Catherine has had a hard time walking with her broken foot. Yes, her “boot” is really cool looking, much like an astronaut’s boot. And her scooter is even cooler, more like a toy than a tool. But Catherine has confessed to me that we don’t really think much about our feet until they hurt or they don’t work right. She is not able to go running or hiking or even to walk the dog! And you’ve seen how she has a hard time on the chancel steps. Catherine is getting a good lesson in an old saying, “Your feet are your friends.”

In my family, we like to do lots of walking and so to remind the people in our family that we love them, we like to give socks as presents. When we give each other really nice, comfy, sturdy, good socks, we are saying, “Hey, I want your feet to feel good. I want your feet to be strong and healthy so that you can walk well and do the things God calls you to do.”

Today you have brought socks: nice, comfy, sturdy, good socks. And this afternoon, Mr. Bill and I will take these socks to the First Light Shelter. The guests are at the Shelter because they need help; they are having a hard time in their lives. Through your gift, they will know that you want their feet to feel good; they will know that you want them to walk boldly and strongly and comfortably; they will know that God loves them because you have shared with them. Your almsgiving this week will help meet their need in a loving way. Thank you for sharing God’s love this way.

To prepare for next week’s almsgiving, I am going to give each of you a cup today. Our Bible story next week is about water. Now I’m not asking you to bring your cup back full of water…that would be silly…but I am asking that you bring your cup back full of coins! You will see next week how your cup of coins can help meet others’ need for water.

Will you say a prayer with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for my feet.
Thank You
for walking with me.
Please bless these socks
as we share them with others
so they will know
our love
and Your love
and they will walk
boldly and strongly and comfortably
with You.
Amen

We are not Christians alone,
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

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