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Summary: Mission sermon using a potato as mission emphasis. Hand out potato, or stack altar witht hem in a call to action for missions.

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APRIL 24 MISSION DEFINED-- S.P.U.D.

Matthew 25:31-40

How many of you remember playing with Mr. Potato Head?

My brother and I had one on the farm.

We nicknamed him SPUD.

Spud was a real friend to us:

We could make him into whatever face we wanted.

We could make SPUD smile.

We could make SPUD frown.

If we were mad at our brother or sister we

Could make SPUD look with evil intent.

We could even make SPUD look like a cross dresser.

But SPUD THE POTATO head was a friend to us.

He became whatever it was we needed.

Similar to counselors today use puppets in helping children.

Did you know that Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on television.

Well today I want to talk about Missions—giving to others

And PARTICULARLY ABOUT A POTATO MISSION.

You learned today that our fourth Sunday offering goes

to an Advance Special of the United Methodist church

The society Of SAINT ANDREW.

All our loose cash offering and designated checks today will go toward this mission.

Saint Andrews fights hunger in the United States through three program’s

Potato project

Gleaning Network

Harvest of hope.

This mission group salvages fresh produce that would otherwise go to waste.

And is delivered to the needy through a network of volunteers

which includes youth from North and south Dakota.

Last fall in Mitchell, nearly 300 high school students unloaded and sorted 11 tons of potatoes salvaged from fields in the Red River Valley in North Dakota.

What do we know about potatoes?

The Potato has had a bad rap in the past.

Potatoes came out of the Andes Mountains of South America.

They were noticed because of their ability to grow in tough climates,

Up to 15,000 feet, and in poor soil condition.

It wasn’t until 1537 that Western man come in contact with the potato

when the Conquistadors tramped through Peru.

And in 1570 that it made its way across the Atlantic to make its start in Europe.

And in 1719 made their first appearance in North America

in Londonderry, New Hampshire with the Irish.

The early potatoes were considered food for the poor and underclasses.

They were used primarily to feed hospital inmates.

Part of its bad reputation was that the potato is a member of the nightshade family

and its leaves are poisonous.

When left in the sun a potato will turn green with Solanine

which causes a bitter taste and can cause illness in humans.

Antoine Augustine Parmentier a chemist and pharmacist,

overcame the potatoes bad rap for the French

when he acquired a miserable and unproductive spot of ground outside of Paris.

There, he planted 50 acres of potatoes.

During the day, he set a guard over it.

This drew considerable attention in the neighborhood.

In the evening the guard was relaxed and the locals came to see

what all the fuss was about.

Believing this plant must be valuable, many peasants

"stole" some of the potatoes from the plot,

and soon were growing the root in their own garden plots.

Curiosity overcame their resistance and today the potato is a

Major food stuff of the world. Coming in brown, yellow, pink, red, and purple or "blue".

And containing a fistful of nine healthy vitamins:

so common, plentiful that the potato is taken for granted in our Western world.

(((Vitamin C 45%Thiamin 10%Niacin 8%Vitamin B6 14%Folacin 14%Panthothenic Acid %Phosphorous 6%Magnesium 12%Iron 9% )))

The potato is truly a servant of God to mankind.

Especially when used to feed the poor.

So let me help you remember our Christian mission

With the word SPUD

S—IS FOR SERVICE

SERVICE:

In his book, The Jesus Style,

Gayle D. Erwin described servanthood this way:

"A servant’s job is to do all he can to make life better for others –

to free them to be everything they can be.

A servant’s first interest is not in himself but others …

Servanthood is a loving choice we make to minister to others."

God has called us to service.

We are not to be in this world for ourselves.

But to serve others.

Jesus admonished Peter three times.

Feed my Lambs

Take care of my sheep

Feed my sheep. John 21:15-17

Proverbs 29:7 The righteous care about justice for the poor,

but the wicked have no such concern.

A good example of this is our Salvation Army Food Pantry offering.

1. You have given over 110 pounds of canned items just this month

Not including the Superbowl giving

Along with your offering of over $200 a month to help feed the poor in Aberdeen.

2. The YWAM mission team that was here.

moved over 1000 lbs of household items,

Clean a house from top to bottom and removed

Another ton of materials from our own church basement.

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