Week #6 is Sunday, February 10, 2019 – Narrative Lectionary Story: Matthew 7:1-14, 24-29
Theme: It’s a lofty expectation for Jesus to say don’t judge, because humans judge. Jesus sets high expectations for his followers to live an exemplary faith. Jesus also knows that we’re going to fail. In the midst of these expectations sits grace, Jesus says ask, seek, knock. Why Jesus? Because Jesus loves both saint and sinner.
Video Intro:Robin Beck reflects on her own experience of marriage, separation and divorce and how her faith grounded her and also reminded her that no matter what she is loved. Today Robin has become a resource to other people as they face similar struggles. Robin recognizes the strength of Jesus’ message and the amazing support of the community of faith in her journey. So why Jesus? Because Jesus loves both saint and sinner. Check it out!
Confirmation: Check out the Confirmation Material – Because Jesus loves us saint and sinner.to go along with the video!
Readers Theater for Matthew 7 that can be used in worship instead of the regular reading.
Sunday School Curriculum: Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request the curriculum from Epiphany, January 6 thru Transfiguration, March 3.
Music is has been written especially for the Why Jesus? Project, but here are a few suggestions:
- Gathering or Opening Hymn (ELW) #631 – Love Divine,
- Hymn of the Day (ELW) #581 – You Are Mine or Blessed to Be a Blessing (Why Jesus)
- Communion Hymn – Behold, I Stand at the Door (Why Jesus)
- Sending or Closing Hymn (ELW) #595 – Jesus Loves Me
Here are Music Selections for Each Week
Other Sermon Ideas:
- Check the lyrics to I Sing a Song of the Saints of God by —Lesbia Scott. from The United Methodist Hymnal (Nashville: The United Methodist Publishing House, 1989), #712.)
I sing a song of the saints of God, patient and brave and true;
who toiled and fought and lived and died for the Lord they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, and one was a queen, and one was a shepherdess on the green;
they were all of them saints of God, and I mean, God helping, to be one too.
They loved their Lord so dear, so dear, and his love made them strong;
and they followed the right for Jesus’ sake the whole of their good lives long.
And one was a soldier, and one was a priest, and one was slain by a fierce wild beast;
and there’s not any reason, no, not the least, why I shouldn’t be one too.
They lived not only in ages past; there are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints who love to do Jesus’ will.
You can met them in school, on the street, in the store, in church, by the sea, in the house next door;
they are saints of God, whether rich or poor, and I mean to be one too.
- Quotes about saints & sinners: “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.” ― Nelson Mandela; “God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.” ― Soren Kierkegaard, The Journals of Kierkegaard; “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints – the sinners are much more fun.” — Billy Joel from “Only the Good Die Young.”
- Bad-Rap for Saints: What is this bad reputation that plagues saints as being goody-two-shoes? What is the temptation to enjoy the life of a sinner more than the story of a saint? Why does the joy of a saint seem so boring? Does this view change as we grow older?
- Video Idea: “Millions” is a movie from 2004. The UK is about to switch its currency from Pounds to Euros, giving a gang a chance to rob the poorly-secured train loaded with money on its way to incineration. But, during the robbery, one of the big bags falls literally from the sky on Damian’s playhouse, a 7-year old given to talking to saints. What should Damian do with the money? He and his older brother try to give it away. According to Marianne Williamson, “we are here to participate in a glorious subversion of the world’s dominant, fear-based thought system. There are only two core emotions: love and fear. And love is to fear as light is to darkness: in the presence of one, the other disappears. As we shift our perceptions from fear to love — sometimes in cases where it’s not so hard and ultimately in cases where it takes spiritual mastery to do so — we become miracle-workers in the truest sense. For when our minds are surrendered to love, they are surrendered to a higher power. And from that, all miracles follow.” Check out the trailer. Millions is a delightful, funny movie with some true evil and two brothers trying to live without the mother they adored.
Props: None but leader leads a game of Simon Says with kids and congregation
Hello! I am so glad that you are here! We are going to play a game today. You are going to play and we are going to ask everyone in the congregation to participate. We are going to play a game of Simon Says. I am going to tell you to do a series of things and you may only do these things if I say, “Simon Says.” If I do not say “Simon Says,” then you have to do nothing. If you do what I say and I do not say “Simon Says” then you are to sit down. Are you ready? (Look at kids.) Are you ready? (Look at the congregation.)
(Leader says a series of instructions to the crowd. “Simon says, touch your nose;” “Simon says, stand on one leg.” “Raise your hand.” Play for a little while until many of the people are seated.) Why do you think it is so hard to do what the leader is saying? (Wait for kids’ responses.) We are paying attention and we are trying, but it’s still very difficult. This is how it is in real life too. We try so hard to make good choices and treat people well, but no matter how hard we try we still mess up. We still make choices that hurt people or hurt ourselves. Jesus tells us to not judge people and yet we judge and we don’t treat our friends and neighbors like we want to be treated.
But even though we do the things we do not want to do we also have a huge capacity to do good in the world. We are capable of helping and hurting at the same time. God understands this about us. Despite our brokenness and our imperfection Jesus meets us right where we are and promises to love us, forgives us, and stay with us no matter what. Nothing can separate us from Jesus’ love. So, why Jesus? because Jesus loves both saint and sinner.
Let’s pray: God, we are so thankful that you love us. Thank you for loving us on our good days. Thank you for loving us on our tough days. Thank you for sending your son Jesus to this world to show us how much you love us. Help us to see people that you do as beloved children of God. Amen.
What is the Why Jesus Project? Check out the FAQ on Why Jesus? Home Page.