yearB trinity Sunday

Sermons For This Week:

     John 3:1-17  -  Nicodemus
     Matthew 7:9-11  -  The Role Of A Father

Sermon #1: For years, the opening of "The Wide World of Sports" television program illustrated "the agony of defeat" with a painful ending to an attempted ski jump. The skier appeared in good form as he headed down the jump, but then, for no apparent reason, he tumbled head over heels off the side of the jump, bouncing off the supporting structure down to the snow below.


What viewers didn't know was that he chose to fall rather than finish the jump. Why? As he explained later, the jump surface had become too fast, and midway down the ramp, he realized if he completed the jump, he would land on the level ground, beyond the safe sloping landing area, which could have been fatal. Surprisingly, the skier suffered no more than a headache from the tumble. To change one's course in life can be a dramatic and sometimes painful undertaking, but change is better than a fatal landing at the end.


This is the problem Nicodemus is having. Jesus tells Nicodemus that he is facing a fatal landing if he does not change directions. But Nicodemus knows only one way and that is the way of earth. It is the only way that any of us knows. Suddenly Jesus appears on the scene and begins speaking of Heaven, of being Born Again. Nicodemus hears the words "You must be born again," but he is confused. So he asks, "How can a person go back into his mother's womb and come out again?"


It is surprising to us that Nicodemus is so confused. Heís a religious leader and should understand spiritual lessons but somehow he feels he has missed some crucial truth. And, there is a reason he is going to Jesus. He has an inkling that Jesus might be able to provide that missing important detail. Nicodemus has somehow been headed in the wrong direction and now he must change his course. This he knows but Nicodemus seems hesitant. He seems uncertain about making such a drastic change. Why? What makes this remarkable man slow to take Jesus at his word? What is confusing him?


1. First, Nicodemus was a religious man.

2. Secondly, Nicodemus was a powerful person.

3. Third, Nicodemus was a man of pedigree.

4. Fourth, Nicodemus was an educated man.


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Sermon #2: Some years back Bill Cosby wrote a book simply entitled FATHERHOOD. If you ever get a chance to read it I suggest you do. It is thoroughly humorous. You will also learn a few things along the way. I would like to share with you two observations that Cosby makes about Fathers. He writes:


Now that my father is a grandfather, he just canít wait to give money to my kids. But when I was his kid and I asked him for fifty cents, he would tell me the story of his life. How he got up at 4 A.M. when he was seven years old and walked twenty-three miles to milk ninety cows. And the farmer for whom he worked had no bucket, so he had to squirt the milk into his little hand and then walk eight miles to the nearest can. All for 5 cents a month. The result was that I never got my 5O cents.


But now he tells my children every time he comes into the house: Well, lets see how much money old Granddad has got for his wonderful kids.Ē And the minute they take money out of his hands I call them over to me and I snatch it away from them. Because that is MY money.


The other story that Cosby tells that I like is the difference between Motherís Day and Fathers Day. He insists that Mother's Day is a much bigger deal because Mothers are more organized. Mothers say to their children: Now here is a list of what I want. Go get the money from your father and you surprise me on Mothers Day. You do that for me.


For Fatherís Day I give each of my five kids $20 so that they can go out and by me a present--a total of $100. They go to the store and buy two packages of underwear, each of which costs $5 and contains three shorts. They tear them open and each kid wraps up one pair, the sixth pair of underwear going to the Salvation Army. Therefore, on Fatherís Day I am walking around with new underwear and my kidís are walking around with $90 worth of my change in their pockets.


Well, of course, Fatherís Day is technically not a religious holiday, it is a secular day. But, it is not, for that reason, less appropriate for us to recognize it. We also donít simply want to give equal billing to fathers this morning because we gave homage to mothers a month ago. We want to recognize dads for another very important reason. The message that is going out to so much of society today is that fathers are simply not needed. While the number may numerically be small, there are some women who actually chose to be single parent mothers. But there are far too many men in America today who father children that they have no intention of raising. The church, therefore, needs to send out the message loud and clear that fathers play a critical role in the life of the family. Fatherís will have a powerful impact upon their families if they connect in three crucial areas.


1. First, the role of the father is to connect with his God

2. Second, the role of a father is to connect with his family

3. Third, the role of the father is to connect with his church


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Grace and Peace,

Rev. Brett Blair
ChristianGlobe Network presents Leonard Sweet