Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Two Sermons, Different Stories

Jeremy Newlin's Mother's Day Sermon    

I preached on Mother's Day for what I believe is the tenth year in a row.  I am pretty sure because Monica complains that I never remember it is Mother's day until one day or hour before the worship service.  So I always end up saying "Happy Mother's Day" and then preach a sermon that is not focused on the qualities that Mother's naturally have.
            This year, I was ready for a Mother's day message filled with love and compassion that Mother's show their sons and daughters.  I was planning to relate those Motherly qualities to God and then back to us and how we should all live with such character.
            I was preaching at another congregation in Recife.  They are going through the fruit of the Spirit, one each month.  The month of May is Patience.  It doesn't seem like much of a problem to preach on Patience on Mother's Day and relate that to Mothers, right?  I was sent an outline of what they wanted the sermon to be about because they are having different speakers every Sunday of the month.  The outline was difficult for me to bend toward Mothers, so once again I got up and said "Happy Mother's Day" and preached the Word.
            They were all very patient with me, even Monica was content.

Joseph McKinney's Mother's Day Sermon Story
          Hey, I preached on Mother's Day too, but I actually talked about mothers.  In João Pessoa, I had mothers in the congregation get up and each hold a sign with a quality of the fruit of the Spirit, and I tried to think how each one exemplified that quality.  Some were super easy, like faithfulness, like love – everybody agrees with that:  Mothers = Love; but some were difficult, like joy, like peace. Think about it: how many mothers do your see as peaceful? I can think of a grandmother or two, after all the kids are gone and taking care of their lives, but mothers with a husband and children? Where's the peace in that?
          My conclusion, see if you agree with me, is that mothers may have a natural head start on the fruit of the Spirit compared to the rest of us, but they shouldn't be content to stick to what's natural to them. 
          We all should live in the Spirit and let Him produce love that goes beyond our kids, peace that passes understanding, joy going beyond human limits whether you have a husband, wife and kids or not. Not to mention self control, faithfulness, goodness, kindness, meekness, and patience, wow! The Spirit has plans for us, and He can do it if we let Him. 
           So, mothers, today, in the hustle and bustle of real life, tap into the peace and joy of the Spirit.  Let us all reach beyond the qualities that come easy to us and become more like Jesus Christ.

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