Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sermon for July 29, 2012; Ephesians 3:14-21

Rev. George Miller
Ephesians 3:14-21
“Deep and Wide”
July 29, 2012

(The sermon is given “in character” as a 6- year old boy who enters the sanctuary wearing bunny ears and “walking” his stuffed alligator toy & singing)

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God can not do for you!
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God can not do for you!

(Stops in front of the altar, acts shy; plays with bunny ears during the whole sermon) Hi. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ.

My name is Abraham. I’m this many years old (holds up 8 fingers, then turns it into 6).

My Mom says I am not named after the President Abraham Lincoln but after a man named Abraham in the Bible.

I learned a song about him last week. Wanna hear it?

Father Abraham had many sons, many sons had Father Abraham. I am one of them and so are you so let’s just praise the Lord… (Getting softer and going back to being shy)

(Looking at stuffed alligator). What’s that? Oh, tell them your name? Sure. Everybody, this is my bestest friend in the whole world, Alli the Gator.

We live in Sebring with my Mamma. She is very pretty. My parents are separated and right now my Daddy is out of state trying to find a job, but he hasn’t had much luck lately.

Sometimes, because Mamma doesn’t make a lot of money, we don’t have much to eat. So for dinner all I may have is a bowl of cereal or a cold sandwich, and I’m still hungry before I go to bed….

…but not last week: last week I had lots of good food for dinner because I attended Vacation Bible School at Emmanuel United Church of Christ where “no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here!”

It was so much fun. Can I tell you about it?

First we got to play games like Sorry and Memory and Corn Hole. Next, we got to do crafts like design our own bags to take home, make sheep and birds nests.

Then, we got to play outside, like relay races, scavenger hunt and Duck Duck Goose!

We also had lessons where we learned all about different animals in the Bible. For example, we learned about sheep! Do you know sheep only have 8 teeth! And there are over 900 kind of sheep?

We also learned about snakes. Like how there’s a snake called an asp and he may be tiny but his bite is very dangerous, and the adder who may be big but he won’t hurt you?

Guess what else we did? Can you guess what else we did?

We ate! Lots and lots and lots of good food! We had spaghetti and hot dogs, macaroni and cheese and hamburgers.

We had the bestest chicken fingers in the whole wide world and we had pizza! I put hot sauce and parmesian cheese on mine just like the pastor.

We had desserts like sharks in the water and chocolate mices and ice cream sundaes!

And at the end of each night we were sent home with a goody bag of fruit and snacks and healthy things to eat.

Not once last week did I got to bed hungry.

And you know what else we did? I think Alli wants to tell you…

…We had worship! We learned about the Books of the New Testament. We heard stories that taught us how God remembers us no matter how much it rains; God searches for us when we feel lost; no one is too small for God and that everyone is unique and special.

Know what else? We song lots and lots and lots of songs. And we were allowed to dance and march and use our hands.

One song I like was called “Deep and Wide.” It goes like this:

Deep and wide, deep and wide
There’s a fountain flowin’ deep and wide.
Deep and wide, deep and wide,
There’s a fountain flowin’ deep and wide!

(Invites everyone to sing along.) That was pretty good. Maybe you can go with me to Vacation Bible School next year.

“Deep and Wide” is like today’s Bible story. Do you know that this was actually a letter, a really, really ooolllddd letter meant to remind the church how to be a church?

And that this letter is also to remind everybody that Jesus and the church are never to be separated; that the church is the Body of Christ to all the people who are around.

This letter is also a reminder that because of Jesus we already know we are loved so we can learn how to grow, how to get better and how to become who we are supposed to be.

(Turns to “listen” to alligator) Alli says that maybe if more people went to Vacation Bible School they would know that too!

Also, the letter says that in God we already have a Daddy and we are all God’s children.

And that the church is to bless God because God has already blessed the church.

(Gets quiet) Know what? Do you wanna know what? You were the church this week.

You gave us a place to belong and feel safe.

You helped to make our faith growed.

You taught us a lot.

You gave us a place to give thanks and glory to God. To have fun, say prayers and to fill our bellies.

In conclusion, you showed me and Alli and all my new friends that there is no limit to

-the breadth
-the length
-the height
-or the depth to God’s love, and that in Jesus we are all very, very, very, very special.

(To alligator) What Alli? You think we should close by singing a song?

What song do you want to sing?

“My God is So Big”? (To congregation) Can you stand up and help me and Alli the Gator sing?

It’s real easy. I’ll teach you. After all, I learned it right here, in church, at Vacation Bible School.

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God can not do for you!
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There’s nothing my God can not do for you!

Amen and amen!

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