Faith Is Demonstrated
October 13, 2019

Faith Is Demonstrated

Passage: Luke 17:11-19
Service Type:

Please pray with me: Beloved God, I pray that the words I speak here and the sharing that we do with one another would be a blessing in the life of this congregation. Where we go far afield, I pray that no harm would be done. Amen.

I had an exhausting week. The first part involved parenting teenagers - emotionally tiring. The second part was physically exhausting with the Chicken Pie Supper (but it was awesome - emotionally and spiritually rejuvenating!) Therefore, I need your help - this a participatory sermon. 

Honestly, I give the Holy Spirit full credit for this idea. I suppose this is true for all of my sermons, but this particular bit of creativity came in the midst of exhaustion, so full props to God’s Creative Spirit are in order. 

Today, as we read the story of Jesus and the ten lepers, I want us to notice the faith demonstrated by the one who returned to thank Jesus. Jesus says to him, “your faith has made you well.” But there is an important point a few verses earlier… the thankful leper was a Samaritan. Samaritans were of a different faith tradition. Today it would be as if Jesus healed nine Christians and one Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu and that it was the non-Christian who turned around and said thank you and who Jesus blessed with the words “your faith has made you well.” 

Over and over again in the Gospels Jesus tells us that faith is demonstrated. Just like love is demonstrated. You could tell me that you love me with words, but it is through a warm embrace, loving appreciation, kindness, shared excitement, and generosity that I feel your love. Faith is similar. We can’t just do it lip service. Faith is demonstrated. 

I believe that there are plenty of people out there who do not believe in Jesus or know about Jesus’ teachings who are, nonetheless, following in the way of Jesus. In the same way, I am certain that there are people who claim to follow Jesus or believe in Jesus but do not demonstrate that faith and are, therefore, not actually faithful Christians. ...Side note here, I am certain that it is not within my capacity, or any other humans’, to judge which it which.

So now is the part where I am going to ask for your help with today’s message. We’re going to do an activity together using The Lord’s Prayer as our muse and our life experiences as our medium. Each of you should have a piece of paper and a dark crayon. I recommend using a hymnal as a hard surface to draw and write upon. 

In the middle of the page draw a circle about three or four inches wide. 

Write your name in the middle of it.

Draw 9 lines going out of that circle as if you were drawing the sun. 

In one or two words, and without using any names, write your answers to the following questions:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. How do you most like to address God when you pray? (Jesus, Holy Spirit, Father, Mother, Beloved, Holy One, God, Lord, Divine Friend, etc.)

Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 1) How do you see God at work in the world today? 2) How is God at work on you today?

Give us this day our daily bread. When was a time in your life when God provided exactly what you needed even if it wasn’t exactly what you wanted?

And forgive us our trespasses, When was a time that you hurt someone in your family, the church, or elsewhere and needed forgiveness?

As we forgive those who trespass against us. When was a time that someone else hurt you and you needed to forgive them? 

And lead us not into temptation, What kind of temptation do you need God’s help most to resist: mean-spirited behavior, apathy, selfishness, despair?

But deliver us from evil. It is the evil within yourself or from others that you most fear?

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. What’s the hardest thing to let God have control over in your life?

Now look around and find someone to talk with. Share one or two of your answers (not necessarily the hardest, but something heartfelt). Make sure that everyone is included.

{pause for activity}

Friends, let's make sure that our faith is demonstrated. Amen.

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