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Summary: A basic approach to life for the Christian should be celebration of the presence of Christ.

A LESSON FROM THE POTATO

Matthew 9:14-17

Sermon Objective: A basic approach to life for the Christian should be celebration of the presence of Christ and that, like him – we should too, be everywhere spreading his love.

Supporting Scripture: Isaiah 51:11-12; Luke 19:35-40; 2 Corinthians 5:16-18; Galatians 5:18-25; Revelation 4:1-11

SUMMARY

We have begun a new series called Lessons From the Garden. You are aware that there are characteristics of many fruits & vegetables which we can learn from and transfer in different ways to life.

Past week’s sermon included “A Lesson from the Onion” and “A Lesson from Asparagus.” We’ve seen how Christ’s love saturates and infiltrates its environment just like an onion does and how real ministry and a sense of brokenness may not look good or be easy to swallow but it is sure good for our spiritual health.

Upcoming sermons will include:

• The Garlic (9:18-26)

• The Strawberry (9:35-38)

Today’s sermon is A Lesson From The Potato.

INTRODUCTION

Vickie and I are in the planning stages of next year’s garden. It will be the first garden we have planted while in the North Country and that will mean a few different plants. We’re looking forward to preparing the beds, etc. so we will be ready next spring. The youth group will begin preparing the soil here at the church for their community garden too.

One of the vegetables Vickie and I have traditionally planted is the potato. The reason is because it is such a common staple in our diet. In fact, potatoes are one of the most common staples in the American diet as a whole. Idaho alone grew over 12.2 billion pounds of potatoes last year. It is over a $1 billion dollar cash crop for them.

The average American eats over 140 pounds of potatoes each year. And we have become very creative at it. We eat them roasted, creamed, fried, baked, boiled, sliced, dehydrated, flaked, chipped, hashed, au-gratin style, and mashed. We love our potatoes! There is even a Potato Hall of Fame in Idaho and a Potato Museum in Pennsylvania.

What a vegetable the Potato. It is how many men identify themselves. Ladies, I suspect some of you are married to men you would define as “Meat and Potato” kind of guys.

Ah yes, the potato, it is everywhere, very common indeed. Regardless of where you shop or where you dine the potato will be on the menu.

And there is a lesson to be learned from this common commodity. Just as the potato is everywhere enjoyed so God’s Son is to be everywhere enjoyed.

The presence of Jesus in one’s life should invoke a celebration!

THE TEXT

14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”

15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.

17 Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

THE BRIDEGROOM IS PRESENT -- CELEBRATE!

God’s Son brings all sorts of reasons to celebrate.

Ray Stedman writes in Authentic Christianity that the first mark of authentic faith is "unquenchable optimism."

That is certainly emphasized here. The One they had been waiting on for millennia, the bridegroom, has arrived. This means the guest of honor has made his appearance and that should provoke a sense of joy and wonder on the part of the guests.

Sadly, there are those within our tradition which tend to make the spiritual journey into a death march rather than a party. And, like John’s disciples, they come asking what all the commotion is about. John’s disciples wanted to sing the blues and they wanted to know why Jesus let his followers celebrate. Then Jesus lets them in on the secret; while He is present it is impossible to sing the blues. The only appropriate response to His presence was thrill, joy, euphoria, celebration, and praise.

HAS JESUS COME TO YOU?

IF SO, THERE ARE ANTICIPATED AND APPROPRIATE RESPONSES. They are similar to those he brought to his first century followers. We too have reason to celebrate. THE BRIDEGROOM HAS COME AND WE ARE REDEEMED!

Enough of a downcast disposition!

Away with negativity and gloom!

Be gone pessimistic spirit!

Jesus has arrived and his light shines into the darkness bringing hope, peace, love, faith, and joy!

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