Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 7:21-28
God promises us joy! However, the joy comes to us when we actually follow God’s words and do accordingly. Someone said to me the other day this story. One man kept praying that he should win the lottery. After couple years of praying for that one request, finally he got answer from God: “Please, buy one!” He had prayed for many years without buying one! Well, today, we have UMW officials’ installation service on this third Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Joy. I know that women are better than that. They actually do take actions. In that way they put the mission and ministry on a strong foundation.
Let me give some examples of what the UMW is doing. Their annual bazaar is for mission. All the UMW circles are doing mission, education, fellowship, and evangelism. They bring people to church and nurture them with care and training. Then they send people in the world to transform the world. One example is the Ehwa Women’s University in Seoul, Korea. The school started by Mrs. Mary Scranton. One of the UMW members of The First UMC of Ravenna in OH, Mrs. Balwin, heard about the women in Korea. She got the report from some missionary that the women in Korea did not have any opportunity to be educated. She gave offering of $88.00 for the education of the Korean women. Then the church sent the money to GBGM and Mrs. Mary Scranton could go to Korea as a missionary. The school started with one girl that she found on a street in 1884. Now 127 years later, the school is the center for education for all the women leaders of Korea. My wife is one of them! Who do you think have more joy now, the original giver or all the recipients?
I also want to give you one more example of obedient action. This time I will give men a chance. Last Friday, we have men’s small group. We discussed some possibility to do service for our church as a group. Then an idea came up. One of our members, John Martinez, is a professional chef. He offered his service. He said he could cook for people up to 800. Then we men decided to give free lunch for all the people who come to the Christmas Sunday! My question was where do we find money for that? Then one of our members took out cash from his wallet and threw that on a table. Then follow another man. We men are doers! Now we have free lunch for all who comes on Christmas Sunday! It will be the beginning of new days of free lunch for many following Sundays. Who do you think have more joy now, the men’s group or the ones who eat free lunch?
Yes, doing service and mission brings us joy! Let us start at least one thing that can bear fruits in future, one thing that can bring us joy. I pray that our lives are full of joys with God’s grace!
1. What would be one thing that you can start today to bring joy for others?
2. What is the most joyful thing in your life now? Where did it start? Who did start?