by Pastor Kathy Itzin
Last Spring, I decided to offer congregational members the opportunity to give a sermon in our sermon series "Books Speaking to Faith." I thought that this would be a great opportunity for people to share messages that are important to them.
I didn’t expect the Great wisdom, creativity, and organization that our members offered in the sermons that they created and shared with us. Wow! I am not surprised, but I am impressed! This has also been evidenced in the stories we submitted for the July Courier. (Great idea, Char)!
We all offer our talents in so many ways: serving on committees, working in the community, fixing, improving and maintaining property (and the churchyard), cleaning and organizing areas in the church, and contributing money, labor, and energy to our neighborhoods and the causes that we support.
The speakers in our sermon series have reminded me that we each have an important message, or several important messages to give. Someone once said that everyone has at least one good sermon within them! Lately, I’ve been reflecting upon how our ‘sermons’ may be offered in the form of advice given to a friend or loved one, a visit with someone who needs it, or a sign placed in a yard. Even beyond that, ‘sermons’ can be preached by our actions or examples.
That reminds me of the story of an old German farmer. He spent his life caring for his farm and family. After his wife died, he told a friend, "I loved her so much I even told her once." She knew his love by his actions.
That is also true about preaching. Our children learn our values by the examples we give them. Our friends and relatives see how we act and live our lives. That is spreading the Gospel! We teach perhaps more by what we do, than by what we say.
A mechanic, cashier, or person who is retired may be a better preacher than a minister. When we think about the people who serve as examples to us, it is usually those with whom we spent time, the ones who live good, honest lives.
That’s us! Others who may never enter a church, learn about following Jesus by our actions. We may follow those actions by words, but we don’t need to. Whether or not we ever ‘hear’ an official sermon by you, you are living a sermon every day. A holy man once sent out his disciples to share the Good News of Jesus. He said, "Go preach! And, if you need to, you can use words."
Jesus said, "Go, and make disciples of all nations…teach them…and know that I am with you always..." (Matthew 28: 19-20)