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Sermon and Worship Resources
15th Sunday after Pentecost

Sermon and Worship Resources

Texts & Discussion:
Exodus 14:19-31
Psalm 114
Genesis 50:15-21
Psalm 103:(1-7), 8-13
Romans 14:1-12
Matthew 18:21-35


 

This Week's Themes:

Victory in God
Unity/Spiritual Community

Forgive us as we Forgive

 

Prayer of Confession (for use with Matthew 18:21-35)

Most holy and merciful Father:
We confess to you and to one another,
and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth,
that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed;
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and
strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We
have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.

We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us.
We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved
your Holy Spirit.

Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done:
for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our
indifference to injustice and cruelty.

For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our
neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those
who differ from us.

Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.  Amen.

 

 

Sermons:

Children's Messages:


 


Sermon Excerpt:

Paid in Full
Sermon based on Matthew 18:21-35
by Rev. Randy Quinn

(Begin sermon prior to Reading Text)

You may have heard the story of the woman who spent the first day after her divorce sadly packing her belongings into boxes, crates and suitcases. On the second day, she had the movers come and collect her things.

On the third day, she sat down on the floor in the dining room by candlelight, put on some soft background music, and feasted on a pound of shrimp, a jar of caviar, and a bottle of Chardonnay. When she had finished, she went into each and every room and deposited a few half-eaten shrimp and caviar into the hollow of the curtain rods. She replaced the end caps on the curtain rods, cleaned up the kitchen, and left.

When the ex-husband returned with his new girlfriend, all was bliss for the first few days.

Then slowly, the house began to smell. They tried everything: cleaning, mopping, and airing the place out. Vents were checked for dead rodents, and carpets were steam cleaned. Air fresheners were hung everywhere. Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters, during which time they had to move out for a few days; and they even paid to replace the expensive wool carpeting.

Nothing worked.

People stopped coming over to visit. Repairmen refused to work in the house. The maid quit. Finally, they couldn’t take the stench any longer and decided to move.

A month later, even though they had cut their price in half, they couldn’t find a buyer for their stinky house. Word got out, and eventually, the local Realtors refused to return their calls. Finally, they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to purchase a new place.

The ex-wife called the man, and asked how things were going. He told her they were selling the house but didn’t tell her the real reason. She listened politely, and said she missed her old home terribly, and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for getting the house back.

Thinking his ex-wife had no idea about the smell, he agreed on a price that was about 1/10th of what the house had been worth, but only if she were to sign the papers that very day. She agreed, and within the hour his lawyers delivered the paperwork for her to sign.

A week later, the man and his girlfriend stood smiling as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home – including the curtain rods.

Most of us enjoy hearing a story like that – especially if we’ve been wronged by someone. We like to hear about people “getting even.”

Our enjoyment, however, points to an underlying reality – the reality that we really are vengeful. We don’t want to admit it, perhaps, but we prefer to see people get even rather than to forgive.

And when Jesus invites us to pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” we fully understand the sentiment of the man who always pretended to forget the words of the Lord’s Prayer – because he didn’t want to forgive his former partner for swindling him out of his business.

Rare, in our society, is the story of forgiveness. The news media was astounded at the way the Amish community in Pennsylvania forgave the man who killed their children two years ago, in part because the story is so rare.

Jesus, however, envisions a church where that is not rare, but the norm. He tells a parable that invites us to explore our own willingness to forgive. He uses a few words that we may not fully comprehend, so let me do some “defining” before I read our text.....

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