Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 21:28-46
The other day, I had a chance to listen to Dr. Mark Allan Powell (Professor of the New Testament at the Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH). He wrote a book, “Giving to God.” The story is in his book.
He and his wife have five kittens. In his book, he wrote he had four cats. However, after the publication, he and his wife went to a animal shelter. They had one kitten with a sign on her. “I have nobody to love me!” That sign broke their heart and they had to bring
her home. So, they have now five cats. Whenever they have a vacation, they need
somebody to do babysitting for the kittens. So, they ask seminary students to
do the job. Many times, the seminary students love to come to the professor’s
house and stay there for a week. It is better than a student dormitory in many
ways. They have a middle class nice single home with a swimming pool. The
students are allowed to use everything in his house. The refrigerator is
usually filled with good organic food, Whole Food stuff. So, they did not have
any problem in finding volunteers to do the job with joy and gladness.
However, over the years, they have found that there are three types of “stewards,” so to speak. One type is a faithful steward. He or she clean the house and use it with respect. They take care of the cats with love and care. When the professor comes back from
vacation, they usually give bonus in addition to the agreed amount. The second
type is a “prodigal” steward. He said he would keep the house clean
and take good care of the cats. However, when they came back, they found out
that he had pool party with his friends and wasted the place with all kinds of
his personal stuff. Then when they expressed their disappointment, he would
reply, “You should tell me when you come back. I could have clean the
house and everything would have been fine!” Owners can come to the house
any time! They do not have to tell when they are going to come back. Or they
can change their schedule!
The worst type of stewards is criminals.
They change the locks. They claim that the house belongs to them. They do not
let the professor couple to come in. They kill all the cats and throw them away
in the back yard. They are criminals. So, the professor couple had to call the
police and let them arrest those stewards. Many times, this happen in our world
God created this world and asked us to take good care of it. Some of us try to do good job. They try to care for the nature and maintain good relationship with other stewards. Some of us want to take advantage of this opportunity. They just use all the resources without
consideration of others and nature. They are either lazy or selfish. Some of us
are really criminals. They act and live as if the world belongs to them. They
lock God out of it and kill other fellow stewards and destroy the nature! They
are criminals. Jesus promised to call the police and arrest them to put them in
a prison. Isn’t our God fair?
God has given us everything! God has given us even his only begotten son, Jesus. And Jesus has given his life. Today, we celebrate the Holy Communion worldwide. This is the body and blood of Jesus. Jesus expresses His love in this concrete and tangible way. Shouldn’t we also respond to God’s love in a concrete and practical way? What should we do as faithful stewards? I want to share with you five different ways to express our
love for God.
After Dr. Gary Chapman wrote his book, “Five love languages,” we have learned that it is important for us to express our love in a way that our beloved ones can understand the message of love.
Likewise, there are “five faith languages” also. Because the fruit of faith is love, we can use the same kind of languages to express our faith.
Love language Faith language
- Words of Affirmation Praise, Worship and Thanksgiving
- Quality time Quiet Time, Meditation, Bible Study
- Gifts Offering, Donation
- Acts of Service Mission and Ministry
- Physical Touch Attendance (Presence)
Our God uses all five love languages to show God’s love. God came down in human flesh to touch us physically, cured people (act of service), called us for mission and ministry (words of affirmation), taught the Word of God (quality time), and finally give his life
for us (gift). Now today, we have to think about these questions seriously when we receive the Holy Communion.
- What would be the fruit of your faith expression?
- What kind of fruits do you want to add unto your