Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 20:17-33
Here in our church we want to build a home where love grows. In this broken world, we want to provide a place where everybody can come and feel recognized, respected, and loved. What should we do to make this dream to come true?
First, the dream of a loving Christian home is possible because of our Lord who loved us and died for us. Jesus predicted his own death and all the suffering that he would go through in the Bible that we read today. However, the meaning of his suffering is offered to us in Isaiah 53: 4-6. “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
Jesus did not die because of his sins. He died to save us from our sins. A community of love is possible only when we are willing to make sacrifice for others following Jesus’ model. We remember those 9/11 heroes. In the middle of all the tragedies we could still have hope for our nation because of those sacrificial workers. Hundreds of fire fighters died to rescue the survivors. Police and medical workers gave their lives to save others. Universally, Jesus died to save us. Nationally heroes sacrificed their lives to save others.
At home, we also know that mothers and fathers sacrificed their dreams and rights to open doors for the children. They gave up what they deserve to make ways for their children. Same principle is applied here at our church home. Somebody made sacrifice to make the ministry to happen. Right after our custodian Luis had accident, many of our church members, not only Luis’ family members, offered volunteer works. They came to clean our church, our church home. Many of our church members sent cards and money for Luis’ family because he was our brother.
Not only in such crisis, but also in everyday activities we owe our ministry to those volunteers. Now we see a beautiful roof over the educational building, a new roof, because our brother Wally Kresley and other members of our church home volunteered to work on the roof. Wally works in Kazakhstan every other month and used his home stay month for the roof work. Trustee and Thursday Crew members continuously work to maintain our campus safe and clean. Winter Nights for the homeless is possible because some people from our church participated in the program and in the CROP Hunger walk. Guatemala mission was possible because many people opened their purses and kneel on their knees. VBS and Sunday school served the children because of sacrificial Sunday school teachers. Every Sunday, we enjoy beautiful music because of the tireless efforts of choir, bell choir, praise team, and orchestra members. I need more space to mention so many mission and ministry workers of our church.
I just want you to open your eyes. Then you can see yourself how many people work to make our church a home where love grows. Our homecoming reception hall has many tables and you will see with your own eyes all the ministry opportunities. Ask God to open your eyes and see where you can serve.
One thing I want to mention here is this. When James and John wanted to have higher positions than other disciples they could not pay attention to what Jesus said about his sacrificial love. The other disciples also were angry about their ambition and could not figure out the principle of love and service. Greed made them blind. If we are looking for a church that serves my interests alone, we will not see opportunities to serve. We will keep asking, “What is there for me?”
Brothers and sisters! We want to grow love here and make a church home here for the lost people in this broken world. Would you ask Jesus to open your heart and eyes to see the truth? God will graciously open our hearts and eyes so that we can see clearly what the priority number one purpose that we have to pursue in our lives is. May God bless all of our mission and ministries that we see with our hearts today! Amen.
- What ministry does attract your attention today?
- What does make your serve in that area?