Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 8:14-22
Tonight, we come to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Messiah. Jesus came to give us life. Jesus has conquered the darkness in the world. We symbolize the life that Jesus has brought into this world with the candle light. So, we will have candlelight recessional at the end of the service, proclaiming that now we are the light of the world, carrying the Good News of Jesus into the world.
Whoever touches Jesus has the life. Then the person cannot hold the life in him or in her. He or she wants to share it and express it. That is the nature of life. Read the Bible for today. When Jesus healed the mother-in-law of Peter, she got up and “began to serve.” She started working! When we meet Jesus, we start working, doing mission and ministry. She was just one example.
That same night, Jesus cast out the evil spirits from the demon possessed people and cured all who are sick. Just imagine that all those who were cured started their own mission and ministries! What a mighty crowd they would be if they just start their mission and ministries!
However, some of them want to learn more and experience God’s power more before they start their mission and ministry. One scribe came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” However, Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” That meant two things: (1) Jesus did not have any job to offer to the scribe; (2) The scribe could start his own mission and ministry where he was. When Jesus cures us, we have to start working what we can do where we are now as the mother-in-law of Peter did.
Some people even delayed their mission and ministry because they still want to enjoy their worldly jobs. One of the disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him “Follow me and let the dead bury their own dead.” In other words, Jesus wants us to straighten our priorities in our lives. When we invest our time, money, and talents into worldly things, things that have no life in them, we are wasting them. We should start whatever we can do here and now.
So, we are going to pass out Emmanuel Activities List to you tonight. You can take it and start your own mission and ministry where you are. Some examples are: (1) You can visit the Veterans Hospital and share your Christmas memories with someone there; (2) You can call a far-away friend to say, “Hi”; (3) You can visit and share a meal with someone who is lonely; (4) Pray for peace at home and in the world; (5) Give thanks to people; (6) Bless those whom you meet; (7) Plan a family game night, no TV, to name a few. You can find your own creative way to start your own mission and ministry. Be a Good News to others as Jesus came to us tonight. May God bless your mission and ministries that you plan now!
1. What are the things that you want to do within a week from now?
2. What are the mission and ministry that you want to do throughout your life?