SER # 27Wa
FIRST UMC – NEBRASKA CITY
SUNDAY JUNE 28TH 2020
TEXTS: MATTHEW 10: 40 – 42
God is Good! All the time! And all the time! God is good!
Our Scripture today is Luke: 15: 11 – 24 “Those who receive you are also receiving me, and those who receive me are receiving the one who sent me. Those who receive the prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward. Those who receive a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. I assure you that everybody who gives even a cup of cold water to these little ones because they are my disciples will certainly be rwarded.
Word of God written for the people of God – Thanks be to God.
Pastoral Prayer: 4th of July Celebration.
The Lord’s Prayer:
This passage comes as a conclusion of a lengthy instruction that Jesus had given the 12 disciples as he sent them out to do mission work to the forgotten of Israel. In commissioning them to this mission work Jesus gave them some warning of what to expect, what not to carry and some ways to deal with issues that came their way: First, he sent them like sheep among the wolves. Right there you can see it is a dangerous mission. If we can use the imagination here is that the sheep have no chance to survive among the wolves. But he gives them a strategy to use. Second, so be as shrewd as the snake and peaceful as a dove. It is one place in the bible we find a snake being respected for the way it does things. Third, they were not to be afraid because the spirit of God was with them.
This mission field is to be among the lost sheep of Israel. There is the intentionality of what Jesus was looking for. Fourth, do not take any of value like silver or gold just in case you might be tempted to trade them for the service you receive. They were not even to carry their lunch bags which most travelers’ in those days carried.
The story then turns to us today as people who receive the services of the people that God has send on our path of life. We have also to know that in the practice of the day then if you welcomed ones friend is like you welcomed them. If you welcomed an ambassador is like you welcomed the king who send him/her/ It therefore means when we welcome the man or the woman of God is like we are welcoming God himself. In this passage the writer of Matthew offers to us a four links to the chain of salvation.
- There is God out of who love begins: It is God who is the originator of the love that the world experience. For God so loved the world that he acted to save the world from the destruction of sin and hate. It’s this God who when he finished his creation looked at it and said it was good. In all the life of humanity God has continued to show his love and forgiveness. He is a merciful God who even when human has rebelled has been able to call them back to his fellowship. The basis of God’s love is to bring salvation to humanity.
- There is Jesus who brought message to men and women: Jesus was not only the messenger but he was the message. As we look at the I am saying we can conclude that the messenger of God through Jesus is complete: I am the way, I am the bread of life, I am the gate, I am the truth, I am the life, I am the shepherd, I am the vine. When Jesus used these phrases, he was sending a message to the audience that in order for them to continue of grow in their faith Journey Jesus was the only way for them. When Jesus call himself the vine and we are the branches it quickly tells us we can survive if we detach ourselves from him. He offers the spiritual food that keep us living as men and women of faith.
- There are human messengers: prophets, disciples, teachers all who God uses to teach and bring about the salvation. The words of the prophets have been used by disciples and teacher to declare the will of God and what is expected by those who believe in God. We know that God use us humans as an extension of his care and love to the world. That why we usually talk of being the hands, the eyes, and the feet of God in this world. We send God message to the world by the way we speak or not speak, act or not act. What we need is a discernment from God every time to guide to do or say what is needed at the right moment. I believe the writer of Ecclesiastes was very clear on this aspect. There is time for everything “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Eccl. 1:1) As messenger we have to believe that God is going to direct us.
- There are believers who welcome God’s messengers: Salvation that Jesus brought in the world through his death and the message that is spread is because of men and women who have committed themselves to doing that. We know that we can’t all be preachers of missionaries but we can make sure the message of God is carried on by empowering those who are doing God work. The story of Paul in the New Testament is a good example of a missionary who was supported by many people many whose names are never mentioned. They are like the owner of the donkey that Jesus rode on in his last journey to Jerusalem before he was crucified. Nobody know the name of the owner yet his/her generosity has been entrenched in history of the world. We are all instruments of God’s salvation where we pray the support role as well as means of extending God’s love.