We Are the Sermon

Theme: You are the only sermon some people will ever "hear." 6th Sunday of Easter, Year A
Object: None needed, but you could use a picture of Roy Rogers.
Scripture: "If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:15-17 (NIV)

A long time ago—before any of you were even born—movie theaters often had a Saturday afternoon movie for children. Each week children would go to the theater and watch a great movie. Some of the more popular ones were the cowboy movies starring the great cowboys like Roy Rogers. (Show the picture of Roy Rogers.) Each week, right at the moment when the hero was in a very dangerous situation and it looked like he was a "goner" for sure, the movie would suddenly stop and on the screen flashed the words, "To be continued...." Oh no! Now the children would have to wait until the next Saturday to find out how the hero was going to get out of this mess. The next Saturday, the movie would review what had happened the week before, so that if someone had missed it, they would understand what was going on.

This week's Bible lesson is a bit like one of those Saturday movies. It is actually last week's lesson continued. In case some of you missed last week's lesson, let me explain what happened. Jesus was trying to comfort his disciples. He knew that he would soon return to heaven and his disciples would be left alone. "Don't worry" he told them, "I am going to prepare a place for you, but I will come again, and when I do, you will come and be with me." The disciples didn't fully understand, so in this week's lesson, Jesus continues... " If you love me, you will do what I have taught you and I will ask the Father to send a helper who will never leave you." The helper that Jesus was talking about is the Holy Spirit. Jesus asked the Father and he sent the Holy Spirit to live in us and help us to follow Jesus and obey his teachings.

You know, when we try to explain how the Holy Spirit leads us day by day, most people can't understand it. Jesus said, "The world can't accept it because they don't know him and they can't see him." Do you know what they can see? They can see how you and I treat other people. They see when we are generous, loving, caring, helpful, and kind. I have heard it said, "You are the only sermon some people will ever hear." That is what you and I need to remember, we are the sermon, the only sermon some people will ever hear.

Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey what I command." What did Jesus tell us to do? He said, "Love one another as I have loved you." Then he asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit to help us. When others see how knowing Jesus has changed the way we treat other people, then they will want to know him too.

Father, as the Holy Spirit leads us day by day, help us to follow and to obey. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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