9.28.2011

Matt 25:14-30 (5)

ppt

Following your callings with what you have
Reading: Matt 25:14-30
Prop: a box (kpca-y-c)

Jesus once told this story to his students:
(1) God’s kingdom is like a man going on a long trip.
He called his servants and entrusted his money to them.
To one he gave five thousand dollars (give a box), to another two thousand, and to another one thousand, each according to their abilities.

Then the master left.
The man, who had received five thousand dollars, right away put his money to work and then he doubled his investment.

Likewise, the one with two thousand gained two thousand more.

But the man with one thousand dug a hole in the ground and carefully buried his money.

After a long, long time, the master came back and settled accounts with them.
The man with five thousand dollars reported that he had doubled his investment. (Give back the box)

His master replied:
“Great work!
You are good and faithful.
I will put you in charge of many things.
Come and share the joy of your master!”

The man with two thousand reported that he also had doubled his investment.
His master replied:
“Great work!
You are good and faithful.
I will put you in charge of many things.
Come and share the joy of your master!”

Then the servant with one thousand came.
He got to explain something.
So he said:
“Master, I knew that you are a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate.
So I was afraid.
So, I hid your money in the ground.
See, here is yours.” (Give the box)

His master replied:
“That is a terrible way to live!
It's criminal to live cautiously like that!
So you know that I am like that, huh?
Then at least you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that I would have received it back with interest.

The master said:
“Take the thousand and give it to the one who has ten thousands.
To those who use well what is given, even more will be given.
They will live an abundant life.
But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.
Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and grinding the teeth.”

That is the end of our story.
Let’s pray:
Jesus Christ explains to us what you mean by telling this story. Amen.

In this story, Jesus is saying that before he goes away, he will give something to his students. (Show a box)
What is that?
He gives his students the Holy Spirit.
They will feel joy if they live in the power of the Holy Spirit.
They will feel the joy of God.

Jesus also teaches them how to live in faith and hope.
Jesus trained them to do something good.
Jesus understood what they could do with the Holy Spirit.

(1) Now what does the one with five thousand do?
He uses his gift to make more money.
He understands the intention of his master.
So, he used it all and made the world a better place.
As he used this gift, he became fruitful.
He worked in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Then because he was doing the will of God, he felt peace.
He felt nice.
He learned that God is with him.
Then God gave him more gifts and more talents.
Then, he discovered more what to do with his life.

Everybody has a different ability and a different gift.
When we use them, we find joy.

It is like this.
Each animal has different abilities.
(2) This duck is excellent in swimming.
(3) His nice web feet are very good to swim well.
But because of his feet, he is poor in running.
So, if he wants to feel the joy of his maker, he can do something with his swimming skill.
Then, he will rejoice because God has made him well.
Then he can serve others.
Then he can feel the joy of his master.

(3) The squirrel is excellent in climbing.
But he cannot fly.
But think about it.
What would happen, if he tries to fly all the time?
He may end up losing his climbing skill.

His maker is good.
God has done something nice to him.
He may not be sure of it yet.
But he is a good climber.
If he knows that, he would have fun using his ability.
He will find a new joy.
Then his maker will make him his partner in business.

(3) The rabbit is very good at running.
But she is very poor at swimming.
So, what is her ability?
Running is her talent.

(4) This eagle cannot run like rabbit, swim like duck or climb like squirrel.
But she can fly high.
In this way, she can praise God.

So, if they want, each animal can help each other by doing what they can do best.

What about us?
We are uniquely made according to God’s plan.
If we use well what God has given to us, we will feel joy.
If we learn how to use our abilities for God, we will feel joy and satisfy the heart of God.
God will feel joy, looking at us.

Have you tried to use your ability to serve others?
Sure you have.
God is calling each one of us to find our abilities and use it.
Since we have a different ability, we may have a different calling.
That means that we don’t need to compare ourselves with others.
That means that we don’t need to judge anybody.
We just need to live discovering our calling.
In this way, we can worship God.

Let’s pray:

9.13.2011

Luke 3:1-6 (1)

Preparation: a long, really long paper (about 10 feet?)

Hello.
How are you?
How was your week?

Let’s see. What is this?
(Show the long paper)
(Spread the paper in its length)

Now, what is this?

John the Baptist says that he has come to prepare the way of Jesus.

Then when Jesus comes, he says that he is the way, our way.

So, here we go.
The way of the Lord.

Anyone of you want to walk on this path?
Since I want to follow Jesus, I am going to walk on this path.
I am going to walk on the path that Jesus designs for me.

(Walk on the paper.)
When we walk on this path, we feel peaceful.
Sometimes when we walk on this path, we might be like this.
(Then intentionally stray away from the road.)
What do you think of that?
(A child says, "You are off the road.")

Right, I went astray, right?
Here I might feel not so good.
I might have been upsetting about something and then lost the way.
When I realize that, I should go back to this path, right?
Because I need to walk over here.

But sometimes, without knowing we may wander off.
(Come back to the beginning and walk on the paper)
We may be looking at the birds, and looking at the people.

What would you say, if you see someone wandering off like that?
How can you help that person?
You may say:
"Hey, you are off the road."
Then, that person may come back and walk over here.

So, sometimes, we are on course and off course.
(Walk nicely on the paper.)
But when we walk over here, we feel peace.
In order to walk here we need to have faith.
We need to forgive people.
Then we reach our goal in life.

Following Jesus is like that.

We can walk over here (off the road) or we can walk over here (on the road).
When we try to walk over here (walk on the paper), then we are in fact following Jesus.
Then Jesus also helps us to walk on this path.

We need to help each other to walk together upon the way that Jesus shows us.
When we help each other, we walk on this path.
So, let’s help each other.
Let's pray for each other.
Let’s love each other so that we may all walk with Jesus all the way.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, you are our way.
We want to follow you wherever you lead us.
You show us how to live in this world.
We pray that we would walk in you name, always. Amen.

9.06.2011

Mark 10:13-16 (2)

Humility
Reading: (Isaiah 11:6-10, Matt 18:3-6, Mark 9:35-37), Mark 10:13-16
Prop: a baby like doll

About this time, Jesus was a well-known teacher.
Everyone wanted to see him.
So, the students of Jesus were trying to protect their teacher from those who were pushing their way into the crowd.

Because people respect him and trust him, some of them were bringing their children.
They expect Jesus to place his hands on their children and bless them.

But the students were speechless.
They were like, “Don’t they know Jesus is busy? Jesus does not have time for them. These children would not even understand what Jesus is saying. So why bother?”

But Jesus was different.
He knew what they would feel if they didn’t get welcome.
Since he didn’t often get welcomed by many religious and political leaders, he knew what it felt like.

So, He started his ministry in order to welcome those who were despised and neglected.
So, when his students were stopping children coming to him, Jesus was upset. Then he told his students off:

“Let the little children come to me. Do not stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to them. Moreover, if you also do not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child, you are not going to enter it.”

He didn’t really say these nicely.
It is because Jesus didn’t want these children to have a wrong idea about who he is. Jesus was scared of that.
So, he turned around, took the children in his arms, or placed his hands on them. Then Jesus blessed them.

For the children like them, he was willing to die and rise again.
Since they belong to him, he doesn’t want to lose any of them.
Jesus wants to make sure that these children would not get disappointed.

The kingdom of God is prepared for them from the beginning of the world.
The kingdom of God is for them because they are humble.
The kingdom of God is for those who have simple and humility in heart like that.

So, when people try to be greater in the Kingdom of God, they have to get rid of their pride, and try to serve.
So, whenever people ask Jesus about how to be the greatest, Jesus called a little child and said:
“Try to become like little children. If you don't, you are not going to enter the kingdom of God. Anyone who becomes as humble as this child is the most important in the kingdom of God. This child may not think that he is important. She may think that she is nothing. But whoever takes this kind of lowly and humble position is the greatest in the kingdom of God. And whoever welcomes a child in my name welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me welcomes God who sent me.”

The kingdom of God is all upside down.
So, the humble are more important in the kingdom of God.
So, children are important.

So, Jesus is also saying that we should treat well those who are younger than us. We should look after those who are looked down.
We should welcome those who are meek and humble, because the kingdom of God is prepared for them.

In fact, Jesus starts preaching because God’s humble people don’t know that the kingdom of God is theirs. So, Jesus shows them the character of God and the heart of God, by welcoming them.

It is important that we pray a lot.
It is important that we serve the poor.
In the same way, it is important that we have a humble heart.
The more humble you are, the more you have the kingdom of God, in a sense.
In fact, humility, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, all these things belong to the kingdom of God.

Almost every week, new people visit our church.
I know that you have tried to welcome them.
Yeah, welcome them in the name of Jesus.
By doing so, you welcome Jesus himself.
By doing so, we welcome God in our midst.

Jesus likes to recognize when he saw a humble person.
When he sees humility in people, he senses God’s joy in his soul.

Now who is this Jesus?
Jesus is called the Son of God.
It means that Jesus was also a son.
So, he likes to do what his father is doing.
He likes to talk about his good Father God.
And, he is obedient to God.

Since his daddy is God, he didn’t worry about his life.
Hey, his father is God, why should Jesus worry anything, right?
So, in a sense, he lives like a simple child.
He lives out his inner longing and desire to help people.
Then strangely, some people love to follow him and learn from him.
Some of them also support him financially.

But even when he became famous, he tried to maintain his humility and his simple life.
Then he told his followers that they don’t need to worry, because his daddy, God is taking care of them, as well.

Then, Jesus shows God’s way of doing things.
So, when we think of Jesus, we learn of the character of God.

From today’s story, we learn that God’s way of making a harmonious life of peace and healing is by welcoming those who have a low self-esteem.

So, if we want to say that we trust in Jesus and that we love Jesus, then we need to continually welcome children, friends and strangers.

Also, when we welcome a person, we welcome everyone he or she knows.
Just like our story today. Because of their children, these parents also get to see Jesus up close. Then they also learn who Jesus really is and what he is all about.

Jesus is not interested in building a group of people who would everything to protect him.
No, Jesus is interested in building a group of people who would practice random kindness to children and strangers.
Jesus is interested in building a group of people who can stop and have a time to welcome children in the name of Jesus.
So, practicing random kindness is part of what it means to follow Jesus.

Jesus is trying to build a group of children who would welcome everyone in humility and faith. If you can do that, you would melt the heart of God.
This is a great way you can bless everyone and God.
This is a simple way that you can help God build a peaceful nation.

God loves the humble.
So, to the humble, we can always say, “Don’t worry. Have faith and enjoy life. God truly loves you.”

Now we learn that Jesus welcome people whose presence is not often appreciated.
So, look around you and try to help people to feel welcome.
Interchanging smile with them, humbly help them to be part of the group.
Inform them about who God is.
Help them enjoy being with God in this beautiful nature.
Share your faith with them.

Remember that everyone is children of God.
So, we are called to welcome and bless everyone.
Having this kind of attitude is what it means to be a child of God.

9.01.2011

Luke 13:1-9

(A children sermon)

Preparation:
Ask: “Can I have two volunteers from the congregation?
I will be the narrator.
And you will be an apple tree.
And you will be Jesus.”
(Speak for them as well. Direct them to act out.)

Narrator: There was a great orchard.
In this orchard, there were many apple trees.
Every one of them was producing wonderful apples.

(Introducing an apple tree)
But there was a tree that was having some problems, producing fruits.

Apple Tree says: I am going to produce the best apples in the whole wide world. Hhhugggg!
(Try to produce some fruits.)
C’mon! Apples!

Narrator: (Introducing Jesus) Then suddenly Jesus appears and says:

Jesus says:
Hello, little tree. What are you doing?

Apple Tree says:
Hi, Jesus, I am trying to produce the best apples. But it is not really working.

Jesus: Can I give you an advice?

Apple Tree: Sure!

Jesus:
Why don’t you just relax?
You need to let things happen, according to God’s design.
God has planted something good within you.
And God has planted you in a right place.
So, relax and let things happen according to God’s plan.

Apple Tree:
You mean, in order to produce fruits I need to relax?

Jesus:
Yep. That's it. Try it.

Apple Tree:
OK, if you say so.

Narrator:
Then as Apple Tree relax and rest.
Then, suddenly she was producing many apples.
(Put some apples in the hands of Apple Tree.)

So, you see, sometimes, God’s ways are different from our ways.
Sometimes, we feel we need to do a lot to please God. But God often says, “Relax. Just be with me, Remain in me.
I am creating something great in you.There is the power of God in you.
Relax.
And let it happen.
Let it grow.”
You see, God is giving us all the things we need.
So, look around you and look within you.

OK?
Thank you. (To apple tree and Jesus)

Let’s pray:
Christ, thank you for helping us to produce wonderful fruits. In your name we pray. Amen.