Summary: A sermon for Palm Sunday.
“God Uses the Ordinary”
By: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, Soddy Daisy, TN firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t know why God ordained me to go into the ministry.
I don’t have a clue.
I don’t know why God would want to use me.
I don’t understand why God loves me so much.
I am so unworthy.
I am so prone to wander.
I can be such a mess.
But I am so thankful and greatful for the greatest privilege…
…the greatest privilege in the world…
…and I know I take it for granted way too much and way too often…
…and when I take it for granted that is when I mess up, hurt myself, hurt others and am no longer the “joy-filled person” God has created and called me to be!
Scratch that—the “joy-filled person” God created and died for me to be!!!
Life is full of peaks and valleys.
And we often bewail the valleys, and praise the peaks.
But you know what?
Both are good…
Because it is so often the case that in the valleys we find Jesus!
It is when we have been stripped of everything…down to the bare-bones…
…when we have realized…
…with Paul, that “nothing good lives in me,” that we realize…
…that Christ is there!!!
And Christ is all GOOD!
And that is ALL THAT MATTERS.
So, the valleys aren’t all that bad, they can actually be more than fantastic—because Jesus is there, Jesus is HERE!!!
Are you in a valley?
If so, lay your whole faith and trust on Jesus…
…that whatever happens Jesus, the Lover of ALL, the Lord of ALL, the King of ALL, the Savior of your soul is there with you.
And Jesus loves you!!!
Jesus uses you and Jesus even uses me for God’s good purposes.
Jesus even used a small, seemingly good for nothing, funny looking, lowly donkey for His triumphant ride into Jerusalem which marked the beginning of the most glorious passion which was planned before the creation of the world!!!
Planned for you and planned for me!
How amazing and awesome is that?
I happened along a movie at Northgate Mall this past Tuesday evening.
I had picked up Mary Ellen from pre-school and decided we would check out the theater and see if anything age-appropriate was playing.
I wasn’t expecting much.
Just and hour and a half of semi-entertainment…maybe.
Boy was I in for a surprise!!!
I saw that I had two choices.
One was some kind of animated 3-D movie.
It looked miserable and maybe a bit too violent for a 3-year-old.
Then I saw a poster with the picture of a man, smiling a wide beaming smile.
He was carrying a Cross.
And the movie was called, simply: “The Cross.”
I had no idea what to expect.
I sensed that it might be another one of those-semi-well produced movies marketed for Christians…
…but the Holy Spirit urged me to check it out.
And I am so glad…
I am so glad that Jesus was with me on that dark and stormy Tuesday evening.
“The Cross” is a no-frills added documentary about a clean cut, straight laced young man right out of school and planning to be an evangelist, who, in 1968 at the height of the hippie movement felt God
calling him to move to Los Angeles and spread the good news of Jesus Christ to a lost and confused generation of youth.
So he went.
He ministered to the hippies.
He preached on the streets.
And he rented a little hole-in the wall storefront, which he called simply—His House.
Now during that time, people used to put drugs on little stickers and hand them to each other.
So this guy, Arthur Blessitt decided he would make these little red stickers with a smiley face on them and the words, “Jesus Loves You” and walk through the streets and hippie communes passing them out.
Many folks responded to his message, and His Place became somewhat of a gathering place.
In the movie Arthur explains that he was never so-much attracted to the symbol of the Cross.
It had never been all that special to him, but since His Place was a Christian ministry He felt Jesus calling him to build a large wooden cross—much like the one we have in our Narthex—to hang on the wall.
When it came time to put the two beams together, Arthur who had also been ministering to the people of the Hell’s Angels, found he did not have a wrench with which to fasten the bolts.
Just then, a Hell’s Angels guy came driving up on his motor cycle.
Arthur asked the man if he had a wrench, to which the man said, “Sure, what do you need it for?”