yearB proper 11
 


Sermons For This Week:

     Mark 6:30-34,53-56  -  Sermon #1  Hurry Hinders Ministry
     Ephesians 2:11-22   -   Sermon #2  Dealing With The Dividing Walls

Sermon #1: An ethics professor at Princeton Seminary asked for volunteers for an extra assignment. About half the class met him at the library to receive their assignments. The professor divided the students into three groups of five each. He gave the first group envelopes telling them to proceed immediately across campus to Stewart Hall. He told them that they had 15 minutes and if they didn't arrive on time, it would affect their grade. A minute or two later, he handed out envelopes to five others. They were also to go over to Stewart Hall, but they had 45 minutes. The third group had three hours to get to Stewart Hall. The students weren't aware of it, but the professor had arranged for three drama students to meet them along the way. Close to the beginning of their walk, one of the drama students had his hands on his head and was moaning aloud as if in great pain. About half way to Stewart Hall, on the steps of the chapel, the seminary students passed a man who was lying face down as if unconscious. Finally, on the steps of Stewart Hall, the third drama student was acting out a seizure. In the first group of students, those who had only 15 minutes to get across campus, no one stopped to help. In the second group, two students stopped to help. In the last group, the one that had three hours for their assignment, all of the students stopped to help at least one person. The professor had clearly shown these seminarians that hurry hinders ministry.

 

The disciples have been out on their own preaching, driving out demons, and anointing and healing the sick. When they return they gather around Jesus and report in. They had done good work but by this time they are tired, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while,” Jesus said. But as they are leaving the crowds descend upon them. Their rest is interrupted. They are about to learn that hurry hinders ministry, that hurry hinders our awareness of people's needs.

 

What is Jesus trying to get across to his disciples? He is trying to tell them and tell you and me that: 

 

1. Hurry hinders ministry - take time to rest

2. Hurry hinders ministry - saving time is not making time

3. Hurry hinders ministry - let God give you time

 

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Sermon #2: Have you heard about the young man who was an All-American football player in college?  He went on to play professional football for a few years and then came back to his alma mater as an assistant coach.  One of his main responsibilities in his new job would be to go out and scout and recruit players for his college team. Before he made his first recruiting trip, he went in to visit with the head coach, the same coach for whom he had played when he was there in college some years before.

 

The head coach was a crusty old veteran. He had held that position as head coach for many years, was widely known and highly respected all across the country. The new young coach said to him, “Coach, I’m about to head out on my first recruiting trip, but before I go I want to be sure that we are on the same page. Tell me, Coach, what kind of player do you want me to recruit?”  The crusty old head coach leaned back in his chair.  He looked the young coach straight in the eyes and said: “Son, I’ve been at this job a long time and over the years I have noticed that there are several different kinds of players. For example,” he said, “you will find some players who get knocked down and they stay down. That’s not the kind we want!” And he said, “You will find some players who get knocked down and they will get right back up and get knocked down again and then they stay down. That’s not the kind we want!”

 

And then the old coach said, “But you will also find some other players who get knocked down and knocked down and knocked down, and every time they get knocked down, they get right back up!” At this point, the young coach got excited and he said, “Now, that’s the kind of player we want, isn’t it, Coach?” “No!” said the old head coach. “We want the one doing all that knocking down!!”

 

That’s what we need on our church team:

 

Players who will do some knocking down

Players who will knock down not other people, but walls!

Players who will knock down walls of hostility!

Players who will knock down walls that divide and estrange… walls that separate or alienate.

 

We in the church are called to knock down walls of hate and hostility and to build bridges of love and reconciliation. That is what this powerful passage in Ephesians 2 is all about. It is one of the greatest statements in all of the Bible. Listen to this: “For (Christ Jesus) he is our peace, who has made us both one, and had broken down the dividing walls of hostility.” What are these walls that divide us?

 

1. First of all there is pride

2. Second there is prejudice
3. And third there is vengeance

 

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Grace and Peace,

Rev. Brett Blair
ChristianGlobe Network

sermons.com presents Leonard Sweet