My son, Jack, preached his first sermon ever today during our worship service this morning. It was our first youth-led service. Many thanks to Kyle Kelley, Karin Tillstrom, and Frances Kelley for worship planning and working with the youth to provide a great service for us all.
Below is Jack’s sermon manuscript. He did an amazing job of putting it together and then preaching it. I can’t imagine wanting to attempt this when I was in seventh grade (those who knew me then can’t imagine it either!).
Audio is “Give Them Away”
I have no idea why “Barksdale AFB” is on this, as it was filmed at our church, but after 5 hours of upload time, here it is:
“Give It Away” By Jack Henson
Delivered to Church for the Highlands
Youth Sunday, April 15, 2012
Giving away your possessions, sometimes this is hard to do. Bill Gates seems to have no trouble with it. He is an American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, and author. Gates is the former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft. He is consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest people and was the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2009, excluding 2008, when he was ranked third. in 2011 he was the wealthiest American and the second wealthiest person. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, and remains the largest individual shareholder, with 6.4 percent of the common stock. Bill Gates has pledged to give all of his 58billion fortune to charity rather than leaving it for his children. Speaking about his decision he made about his fortune with his wife, he said: ‘We’ve chosen not to pass it on to our children. ‘We want to give it back to society in the way that it will have the most positive impact. He said he did not want to leave it in his will for his children and added: ‘It’s like saying which children are most important. In an interview with BBC’s Newsnight he said: ‘I want to make a positive contribution to the world.’” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Gates)
In today’s reading, Jesus tells his followers to give away their possessions. Back in the time of Jesus you would have to sell your animals, jewelry, property, clothes, and possibly your shoes. Most of his believers weren’t rich, they could barely feed themselves, but to give away their things so that they could help just a little bit speaks volumes. Because they gave away their things, they were one in heart and in mind. I mean, what does it mean to be one in heart and mind? I think that it means that not just your heart, but your mind thinks lovingly too. You would have to be one in heart and in mind to give away your possessions. Would you do it? Would you give away your possessions? If everyone gave away their possessions in this day in age there would be no poverty, or thirst. The jailhouses would be empty for there would be no stealing. Everyone would be happy, sort of like heaven on earth.
So, what things do we have that we can give? You can help build a home for a family in need with the Fuller Center for Housing. You can give away your car by driving your neighbors to church on Sunday morning. The next time you see some outgrown clothes, either yours or one of your child’s, throw them in a bag for people less fortunate and take them to Goodwill. Most importantly share the good news that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins so that we can live in paradise after we pass to the other side.
Jesus also told them to tell everyone on the Earth about the good news. This was the most important thing that they needed to share. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 22: 12-16, “Now if Christ is preached that he has been raised from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised: and if Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain. Yea, we are found false witnesses of God; because we witnessed of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised: and if Christ hath not been raised, your faith is vain; you are in your sins.” Even though it may seem hard to understand, you can tell how strongly Paul feels about telling people about the resurrection. He knew that it wasn’t an option, but an obligation
Between 1954 and1973, the television series, Lassie was broadcast in America, with Lassie initially residing on a farm with a young male master. In the eleventh season, she changed to adult forestry workers as her companions, then had the collie on her own for a while before ending the series with Lassie residing at a ranch for troubled children. She is well known for telling her master that Jimmy fell in the well. Even though she couldn’t talk she knew that she needed to spread the news that Jimmy was in trouble. If Lassie never would have had the knowledge Jimmy would have been in some severe trouble. Isn’t it true today that if we were not to have the information that Jesus Christ was risen we would be in a deep hole somewhere. Perhaps in the deep hole of financial problems. You can’t keep up with the rising and rising of prices that can swallow you like a snake. You can get so worried about these things. You may not know where to turn, to lay your worries on, but in this overcoming cloud of sorrow and anxiety you see the light, just like Jimmy saw Lassie.
You have so much knowledge of the Savior ready to blow right out of your heart. You may not know what to say, the first thing that you should do is tell them that Jesus resurrected and that their sins are forgiven. You can live your life without fear that because you committed a sin doesn’t mean that the devil will come up and pitchfork you and take you down to hell. Tell them that Jesus loves you no matter what you do, and tell them that praying is like a telephone to Jesus. You can talk to him in any way, anywhere, and anytime. Talk to people on the street, even if they look scary, remember that we are all brothers and sisters, and our Heavenly Father is God. This church even has incredibly easy ways to meet with people who haven’t heard the good news with block parties and our new Highland Blessing Meals. There are even people in your office or school who haven’t heard that Jesus saved us from our sins.
When an Idaho woman accidentally flushed her $6,000 diamond wedding ring down the toilet, she was certain that it was gone forever.”It was the most luxurious thing I’ve ever owned,” Mechelle Reiger told KTVB. “I felt sick to my stomach.”But this week — more than 18 months later — Reiger was reunited with the custom-made ring after two sewer workers found it and returned it to City Hall.Now, Reiger says, she believes that “miracles do happen.”According to KBOI-TV, waste water operators Travis Fleming and Carey Knight found the ring whilst working in the sewers in Kuna, Idaho.”Some lady was probably really distraught,” Knight reportedly said when he found it.”She lost a beautiful ring.”Reiger said that she was over the moon when she heard that someone had located a ring. (http://www.kboi2.com/news/local/Kuna-idaho-wedding-ring-sewer–147177865.html) Wouldn’t you like to give someone good news? This week try to make it your mission to tell someone about the good news.
St. Augustine said, “Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.” (http://christian-quotes.ochristian.com/Stewardship-Quotes/)