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Monday, August 29, 2016

08282016 14th Sunday After Trinity - Jesus heals even those who are not thankful!

August 14, 2016
Luke 17:11-19 – Ten Lepers Cleansed – Jesus heals even those who are not thankful!
While growing up in Virginia, at our church I grew up singing a catchy tune from Lutheran Book of Worship that we have begun to use again as a Post Communion Canticle.  Listen to the words from the tune: 
Thank the Lord and sing His praise; tell everyone what He has done.  Let all who seek the Lord rejoice and proudly bear His name.  He recalls His promises and leads His people forth in joy with shouts of thanksgiving.  Alleluia.  Alleluia.
This canticle of praise we sang last week after having received the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  It is clearly not only a “Thank You” song to God for the Gift of eternal life we have just received from the Altar, but it compels us to tell others about what we have received.  With our singing these words we boldly are calling ourselves to joyfully go and tell others of God’s promises with shouts of thanksgiving.
Enter our Gospel this morning.  Jesus in typical Savior fashion, healed ten leprous men, who were not allowed to enter the temple and not even darken the city gates.  Leper colonies were far outside of the city gates, unprotected by the ‘walls’ that usually surrounded cities and would not be visited by anyone of any status.
Yet, Jesus Christ, not only healed these ten men, but even the one who returned was none other than a Samaritan.  Remember that Samaritans were despised and hated by Jews.  Similar to today, it is a hatred that is both along racial and ethnic boundaries.  But as we know, Jesus Christ came to fulfill God’s call and the Samaritans were included in God’s gift of salvation for all of mankind.  Samaritans were early embracers of the Gospel as evidenced by this man who is commended by Jesus for his faith.  For Jesus says simply to the healed Samaritan, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.
For we who come to church and give thanks and praise two thousand years later, a clear assertion can be made that applies to everyone.  Not only the Jews who still to this day hold that the Messiah has not come, to the Galatians who Paul wrote one of his letters to, but also for our culture and community today.  Jesus healed even those who are not thankful!  This is why in the Luther’s Catechism when we read the explanation to the Lord’s Prayer, the seventh petition states, “But deliver us from evil.”  And Jesus definitely with the healing of this man has removed a curse from him and his life.  Now the Samaritan could go to town, walk among the people and no longer be shunned as someone who is ‘unclean.’
Yet, in true faithful fashion, this man, who only seconds ago was seen as unclean, after realizing he has been healed, “turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His [that is Jesus] feet, giving thanks to Him.”  He didn’t have to give thanks, but saw it as his duty to turn to the Man Who had given him his life back and as the canticle and our text says, “Sing His praise”.  The Samaritan not only verbalized in words, but also falling on his face he gave the praise to Jesus Christ for the gift of grace.  He didn’t have to, but clearly felt the human need to turn and give thanks and praise.
To paraphrase Paul in Romans 8, “What then shall we say to these things?”  Simply, we are called to give God praise as well.  We look to our world and listen to the radio, television, read in the newspaper, the internet and even conversations on the street, we say our world is in trouble.  The election coming up, the tragedies in Italy of the earthquakes, the floods in Louisiana, the fires in California.  Closer to home the price of wheat or corn, the rising price of inputs like fertilizer or insecticides or fungicides in order to do business and attempt to make a living.  It appears our world may appear to be in trouble, but I’m here to boldly proclaim we have a God Who loves us and gave His Son Jesus Christ to free us from all that binds us.
We have only to realize that God will heal us and God will not only heal us, but God through His Son Jesus Christ heals even those who are not thankful.  That is the true meaning of the Gospel of Salvation.  The free gift of God given by His Son Jesus Christ and His willingness to go to the Cross of Calvary was so we can be set free from sin, death and the devil.  This is the offer of grace for all of mankind not just for a select few who own the biggest spreads, the best toys or have the most.
The gift of grace is offered for everyone from conception of life to the youngest child only seconds from being taken from their mother’s womb to the oldest person who waits for death to come and take them away.  God offers all of mankind forgiveness and life and salvation because of His great love for us.  It is this free offer of grace that Martin Luther went against the teachings of 1500 years of the church in order to insure that grace would abound.  This is the same reason we sing the Post Communion Canticle.  It is the opportunity for we who not only have received the gift of eternal life to give thanks and praise to God for His gifts, but even for those who may not be thankful or return to God to give thanks and praise.
Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betty were prisoners in one of the worst prison camps during World War II.  On the day of a transfer to a new camp they read from 1st Thessalonians that speaks of giving thanks in all things.  Upon arrival in their new surroundings Betsy encouraged her sister to give thanks for everything in their new ‘home’.
Corrie wouldn’t, she said, ‘what do I have to be thankful for, we have been placed in and among fleas.  I can’t be thankful.’  Finally after much convincing Corrie began to be and express her thankfulness for these new surroundings.  Betsy and Corrie began many bible studies and prayer services while held in the prison camp, and found no interference from the guards, which out of the ordinary for the times and was a miracle for them.  Not until months later did they learn why the guards left them alone.  The guards refused to enter the barracks because of the fleas.

How thankful have you been recently for God’s gifts given to you?  If you would go and walk the halls of most nursing homes like Good Samaritan that deal with Alzheimers and Dementia or hospital wards that daily deal with the devastating diseases of cancer or AIDS and even death.  We who gather here today need to be and do like the Samaritan, for we have lots to be thankful for in our lives.  Let’s choose to be thankful to God for His gift of love, grace and forgiveness for us and share this message with others of what Jesus Christ did for all of mankind, especially for each of us gathered here this morning, just as the Samaritan did in giving thanks to Jesus Christ for giving him his life back.  AMEN.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

08242016 Funeral Sermon for Stanley Don Martin

August 24, 2016
Funeral for Stanley Don Martin
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight O Lord, our rock and our redeemer!!  AMEN!!

Let us pray!  Heavenly Redeemer, today we gather knowing that the veil of death has been drawn, and that as we mourn Stan’s passing the truth is we still have a connection with him.  For the connection is through You and Your offer of grace in Holy Baptism to Stan and to each of us.  May we be comforted today through the Gospel of Your Son, Jesus Christ that draws us to You.  For the salve of the Gospel is the most powerful medicine not only of the body but especially of and for the soul.  Enable us to receive this medicine to comfort and keep us and help us to remain connected through Your Son Jesus Christ Who gave Himself so Stan would have eternal life and come home to be with You in Your Kingdom.  Enable us to connect these dots and be empowered to believe in the offer of grace offered for all of mankind, but especially each of us gathered here with Stan’s family to say goodbye.  AMEN.

It is claimed that we are connected to anyone in the world through six degrees of separation.  In essence we are only six steps away from any other person via our connection with the people we know.  With the invention and widespread use of Facebook, though some do not use it or even like their pictures shared, the number of steps is cut nearly in half to about 3 or 3 and a half.  What is interesting is that this connectedness with electronics and friends of friends has become mainstream, or everybody does it today.

Well this morning I’m here to tell you, Stan Martin here in Goodland didn’t invent the internet, and didn’t have a Facebook account but Stan was one of the most connected people I have met here in Goodland.  When I would go and visit Stan in both his home and lately in Good Samaritan, he and I would start sometimes talk about his Air Force days, but most of our talking would be about people and Stan not only could tell you who they were, who their parents and grandparents were, where they farmed, because you know he loved to farm.  But Stan even knew who their implement dealer was, but truth be told if it wasn’t Massey Ferguson, well, that’s another story.

This connectedness that Stan had was uncanny.  On Sunday when I was in Hays, I observed that Stan’s own son, Monte follows in his Dad’s footsteps, because he is connected and knows everybody as well.  Yet, we who gather here today are connected as well, not only with Marilyn, Cindy, Monte, Sharon and Marla, but we are connected with Stan to someone even more important.  We are connected through Water and Word to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Through our baptism with Water intimately connected with the Word of God, we are connected to Jesus Christ.  For Jesus Christ when John the Baptist poured the Water over His Holy Head fulfilled God’s plan of our connection to Him and our being intimately connected to not only Jesus Christ, but also the promise of eternal life and salvation.  When Jesus hung on the Cross and died, He completed the circle of our being connected and with our individual baptism into Jesus Christ, we are connected with Stan to Jesus life, His death, but especially His resurrection.

When we believe this free offer of grace for all of mankind, whether democrat or republican, atheist or agnostic, we then are enabled to as our Gospel this morning states, “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me.”  The Me is specifically God’s Son Jesus Christ, because the connection made with Stan’s baptism is an intimate connection with His Lord and Savior.  So clear is the connection is why Stan recently had one intent.  He wanted to come to worship here at Emmanuel.  Because Stan knew the importance of his own connection with His Lord and Savior and he would move heaven and earth both for his kids, but also to get back here and worship the same Lord Who died in order that Stan and all of us might have eternal life.

I can see in my own minds eye, Stan and Marilyn sitting in the back pew as good Lutherans, hearing the Word of God and bringing them communion as a couple as husband and wife.  So clear is this image because Jesus Christ offer of eternal life fulfilled Sunday for Stan was what enabled Stan and Marilyn to love one another and their entire family for all of these years.

But what is most poignant is that this love they shared from their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ was never extinguished.  Blown by the wind both of Texas that brought them together, but also the never ending wind like Monday of Western Kansas, the love they had was protected, nurtured and endured triumph and even tragedy even to the very end by Jesus Christ.  I say that, because of a simple yet very poignant picture snapped on Saturday.

In complete tenderness, Stan and Marilyn’s compassion, togetherness and especially their love modelled by their Savior, Jesus Christ was captured when they were caught with their hands clasped while in Hays.  This same picture is on the televisions in the West Narthex and the East Sun Deck.  It simply captures clearly how God’s love for them that they have shared for 63 years was manifest in Christ binding them together as husband and wife and keeping them connected to each other, but especially their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  This one picture perfectly encapsulates their love that they had modelled for them by their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and will connect them across time, space and into eternity.  For this is the belief in Jesus Christ they shared and how Jesus own words, “No Man cometh unto the Father, but by me” were fulfilled Sunday with Stan’s entrance into the eternal physical connection with Jesus Christ.

May we not only celebrate Stan and Marilyn’s connection to one another, the creation of their family unit that did everything together, the many grands, great grands and extended family that always could count on them to be there for any celebration.  But may we especially remember our connection through the offer of grace God offers each and every one of us today.  For the Gospel Stan wanted to come and hear right here at Emmanuel is the same offer of grace and connection with Jesus Christ that Stan has so intimately today as he rests in His Lord and Saviors arms.  AMEN.

Now may the peace of God which surpasses all human understanding comfort us today as we celebrate our connection with Stan, but especially Jesus offer of connection with each and every one of us.  AMEN.
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Sunday, August 21, 2016

08212016 13th Sunday After Trinity - Jesus Put to the Test - Jesus wants us to take care of our neighbor!

August 14, 2016
Luke 10:23-37 – Jesus put to the test – Good Samaritan
Jesus wants us to take care of our neighbor!
School started Thursday for those who might not know.  For the kids it is a time to return to a ‘normal’ routine and schedule.  For parents it’s the opportunity to breath and not trip over nor be pulled in 25 different directions, taking kids to swim, the movies, friends houses, camps or even on vacation.
For the kids their new norm will become taking tests and earning grades on assignments.  Some kids will easily accomplish the goals and expectations that the teachers are measuring, but for others, they will struggle.  Personally I was a struggler.  I didn’t test well.  I didn’t like homework and I definitely didn’t like it when I had to copy definitions out of a dictionary as homework in Mrs. Jefferess 4th grade class.
From our Gospel this morning unlike the testing students and our kids will encounter, Jesus is being put to the test by a lawyer.  Can you imagine Jesus being tested in front of a crowd of people?  The Son of God, Who was part of creating the Heavens and the earth being put to the test with the question, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  To be a fly on the wall when this conversation occurred would have been life changing.  Why you might ask?  Simply, because Jesus turns the tables on the lawyer.  Instead of answering the question, Jesus asks the lawyer a question.  Jesus didn’t disrespect the lawyer, but simply revealed that the lawyer looked at this not from the perspective of serving others, but serving himself.  The lawyer was trying to trap Jesus with his human understanding of God’s law and how it was being interpreted in the Temple.  The lawyer squarely was searching for a way to trap Jesus and serve his own purpose and interests as well of that of his friends.
Jesus saw through the words in the question and the intent behind it.  Jesus was looking not from the perspective of Himself, but what would bring His Father the greatest Glory.  Jesus intent was to love all of mankind and be willing to sacrifice Himself, because of His love for us.
Bill Hull noted discipleship expert asks a question in his book, Conversion and Discipleship, which has at its core, Jesus same intent that He could and was able to fulfill.  Bill asks, “How are you doing loving the people God has put in your life?”  The story Jesus tells of the Good Samaritan demonstrates clearly the importance of this question, but also the application in the story with the Good Samaritan.
The Samaritan was seen as ‘enemy number one’ for a Jew, but as Jesus shows, the Samaritan was the only person who showed mercy.  The Priest and the Levite, good Jews did not demonstrate a love for their fellow man.  But this man, whom would have been avoided by any ‘proper Jew’, not only stopped, bound up the wounds of the man who had been beaten.  He not only put him on his own beast of burden, but pulled out two denarii and even promised to pay whatever more was required in order for this stranger, who had been beaten to within an inch of his life to be cared for at the inn.  Clearly for the Good Samaritan, he demonstrated what care and concern as well as love meant.
So I return to Bill Hull’s question, “How are you doing loving the people God has put in your life?”  If we claim Jesus as our Lord and Savior, come to worship in His house, receive His sacrament that gives us life and salvation, He, that is Jesus expects, no Jesus clearly says to us today, “Go and do the same.”  Jesus is calling us to go and show mercy to the least of these.  Jesus is calling us to reach out to the least of these and love our neighbor as ourselves.  Jesus is calling we who come to worship, not to let this sanctuary be our destination, but for our church to be a stop or waypoint on Jesus call to “Go and do the same.”  Jesus intent is for us to be a sending church for the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We the saints of Emmanuel are called to take care of our neighbor and as Bill Hull infers and even copies from this story of the Good Samaritan, to love the people placed into our lives.  We the saints of Emmanuel are called to tell what Jesus Christ did on Calvary for all of mankind.  We the saints of Emmanuel are called to love our neighbor, no matter the cost, no matter the inconvienence.
This summer, we here at Emmanuel clearly demonstrated this concept of loving our neighbors.  When Sky Ranch came this summer parents trusted us to take care of their kids.  And on Thursday night after our program, where the kids sung their hearts out and we heard the real meaning behind, “Come as you are!” I had numerous parents thank me for what the church had done.  I tell this for a simple reason.  Because it proves that God through the church of Emmanuel demonstrated clearly that we do love our neighbor.  We are capable.  The question for us today is since Sky Ranch is only one week out of the summer, “How are we doing loving the people God has put in our lives today?”

It is my prayer as we are put to the test by our culture by our community and as we join together in our church, we can answer the question boldly and honestly.  Not only with one summer activity, but intentionally engage one another in not just a weekly commitment, but a daily commitment to hear and heed Jesus call to the lawyer and to each of us today to love and take care of our neighbor.  For Jesus call to us today is to simply look to the Good Samaritan and “Go and do the same.”  AMEN.

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08202016 Funeral Sermon for Aletha and Kendall Morris

August 20, 2016
Funeral for Aletha and Kendall Morris
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight O Lord, our rock and our redeemer!!  AMEN!!

Let us pray!  Heavenly Father, You promise that nothing shall separate us from Your love, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.  I pray you would comfort the members of Aletha and Kendalls family and all who mourn their entrance into eternity.  Heavenly Father, grant that each of us gathered here today to say goodbye may ever be prepared for Your final summons when we depart and come home like Aletha and Kendall did to be with You and Your Son Jesus Christ in Your Kingdom.  May the salve of the Gospel message heard clearly today not only surround us, but enable us to be comforted by the promise found in it.  For the salvation Your Son, Jesus Christ offers all of us today overcomes all things because of the grace You offer so freely for all of mankind including all of us who gather here this morning to say goodbye.  AMEN.

The Apostle Paul wrote the following:  “What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who is against us?”  If you were to ask individuals on the street, whether Denver, Kansas City, Wichita or Chicago, they would say, our culture is at war.  Some would say our culture is at war with one another, hence why tragic events like Texas, Minnesota or Louisiana.  But the Apostle Paul’s words for us today not only speak to the headlines we read, hear or see on the television station.  Paul’s words speak to us today because before us today we have gathered with two caskets holding the remains of our loved ones, Aletha and Kendall.

Paul’s biblical question is asked, not because of tragedy, but to enable each and every one of us to look at tragedy and still have hope.  The hope Paul speaks about and points to is the hope built upon a single Man he encountered on the road to Damascus.  Paul’s hope and our hope today as we gather is built upon the Man, Jesus Christ.

Paul clearly and emphatically points to and gives us the tools to answer all questions of tragedy with the words found in Romans 8:34.  Paul said, “Christ Jesus is He who died, yes rather was raised, Who is at the right hand of God, Who intercedes for us.”  It is Jesus Christ upon Whom we can trust, rely and truly believe that He intercedes for us even today.  For Jesus Christ sent by the Father, willingly carried His own cross to Golgatha.  Jesus Christ endured being nailed and hanging between two criminals and is the same Man Who not only offers, but showers us with comfort and grace today that enables us to not only say His Name, Jesus Christ, but believe the offer of grace and eternal life is for mankind, but especially each of us today.

For we gather here today in spite of the wars that rage around our world and specifically because of the hope found in the gift of grace offered to Aletha and Kendall and to each of us.  We gather here today because we believe in Jesus Christ and the free gift and offer of eternal life.  Jesus Christ offer from the Cross of Calvary of life and salvation is a powerful expression that enables us to firmly lay claim to Jesus Christ offer of grace for all of mankind, but especially for each and every one of us gathered here this morning.

Yet, Paul continues and asks an important question, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”  In our world we encounter each of these on a daily basis, whether being looked down upon or seen as second class.  But Paul points clearly to the answer we need.  “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him Who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

That is the answer we need to hang onto today.  Jesus Christ, the Great Shepherd as we heard from Psalm 23 is the person we need to seek and find our solace in today.  Jesus Christ conquered sin, death and the devil and has through His life, death and resurrection set us free from sin and death.  Jesus Christ offered eternal life to Aletha and Kendall and makes this same offer to each of us today.  For when we believe and lay claim to this, we then will not be separated from the love of God that is specifically found in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This same love is what Aletha and Kendall shared with countless numbers of people here in Goodland.  I personally witnessed this sharing of love by them last year.  As they came to the funeral home paying their final respects to someone they knew, I witnessed the love of God that flowed through them.  It was so powerful and so manifest that it made a lasting impression upon me.  It was a love that was not only a gift showered upon them, but they shared it from their very being with countless others in our community.

For this is the same love they channeled from their Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ.  For in the Gospel of John, Jesus says very clearly, “I am the good shepherd, and I know my own and My own know me…I lay down My life for the sheep.”  Aletha and Kendall were Jesus Christ sheep.  Jesus Christ laid down His life for them and for all of us.  Today we gather mourning their loss.  However, we gather still clinging to the sure hope found in Jesus Christ.  For Jesus Christ comforts us with these words for not only His disciples, but for Aletha and Kendall, but especially for each of us gathered here this morning.  Hear Jesus acclamation and promise, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand”.

May this truth comfort us as we mourn, but enable us to believe Jesus promise, but also channel Jesus love for one another.  And may this legacy that Aletha and Kendall shared with others inspire us to share it with one another of what Jesus Christ offers all of mankind of the forgiveness and grace of Jesus Christ especially for Aletha and Kendall’s family and all of us saints who gather here to say goodbye.  AMEN.

Now may the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding guard and comfort our hearts, minds and spirits as we are inspired to share Jesus Christ love with one another so we may never be separated from the love of God that has now enfolded Aletha and Kendall for all eternity in Jesus Christ precious and Holy arms.  AMEN

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

08142016 12th Sunday After Trinity - Jesus has pity on even the least of these, including us!

August 14, 2016
Mark 7:31-37 – Healing of Mute Man
Jesus has pity on even the least of these, including us!
If you have ever had a child who was sick, a parent who was ailing, a friend who was dealing with sickness, whether cancer, long term sickness or even the frailty of their body, have you ever prayed for them or someone you know to be healed?  I’m not just talking feeling better, but their complete healing? 
This morning we have heard from our Gospel the story of Jesus healing the deaf man who also had difficulty speaking.  All of us have encountered individuals with similar challenges.  Jesus clearly not only had the power, but also the authority to heal this man of his malady, both of hearing and speaking.
Could you imagine this man being led to Jesus by his friends?  His family and friends had probably carried him when he was younger and taken him to many healers throughout the land and his lifetime.  For some today we would be willing to drive or fly across the country for a glimmer of hope.  Yet, for that young man, the healers and their practice upon this man was to no avail.  Every person they had brought him to did not change his condition.
Yet, as we have heard today, Jesus during His lifetime and ministry on earth simply had pity upon the least of these, especially this deaf and mute man.  It may not seem like much when we are healthy, but for a man, who had for his entire life, never heard the birds sing, been able to speak plainly and be understood or be welcomed because he was not ‘normal’, this change was radical.  Jesus gave this man his life back in a way that is utterly profound, but it wasn’t an herb he used, nor a new treatment that had gone through the trials that we are so used to hearing about today.  Jesus did something radically simple.
Simply, Jesus not only laid His hands upon this man, but took this poor man’s hands in His own and gave him the freedom he had never experienced.  This same offer of freedom Jesus offers to each of us today.  Unlike the man who was freed from the shackles and prison of the lack of speech and hearing, we who gather here today are offered a greater freedom from something far more sinister.  Today, we are offered freedom from the binding of sin in our world into the life giving world of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
During these uncertain times, whether from a world that is at war with ISIS, global climate change where the experts tell us the ocean is rising or so close to home of the uncertainty of the elections in the fall or the price of wheat and corn being at a low not seen in our collective lifetime, we who gather here today want, need and desire stability.  As Christians our uncertainty can find balance and freedom in only one source and one surety, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
When the deaf and mute man took the hand of Jesus Christ his reality radically changed.  It wasn’t like the hope we sometimes find sitting in a medical office or surgery waiting room when a surgeon comes out and says, “we got it all” like with cancer surgery or an emergency procedure that saves one’s loved one’s life.  The reality that changed for the deaf and mute man was of his taking Jesus Hand and a clear and profound healing that gave his life to him like he had never known.
This morning we are offered this same chance when we come and take Jesus Holy Hand offered for each and every one of us.  It isn’t about our being healed from sickness or disease, but Jesus wants to take our hand and release us into the world to tell others what a life of eternity looks like with Him.  Jesus wants to take our hand and help us enter into a new relationship with Him and it be a relationship, not of empty promises, but of fulfillment made in and for each and every one of us.  Jesus wants to take our hand and escort us into the reality found not on the streets of Goodland, but in our being welcomed into our heavenly home when we go to be with Him for eternity.
Jesus wants to help us like the deaf and mute mans friends and help us help others to take Jesus hand.  Hence why our sermon hymn this morning is “Precious Lord, Take my hand”.
All of us have probably heard and have sung this song numerous times.  But the story of this song has a deeper and more profound meaning.  Thomas Dorsey, penned these lyrics in 1932 after his wife Nettie died in childbirth and soon after Thomas lost the child they were bringing into this world.  Steeped in the loss of both the love of his life and the child they were planning on raising, Thomas, with these lyrics gives us the greatest gem in understanding what it means to take Jesus hand.
The simple prayer this hymn prays is a plea by a man who has lost everything, but clearly understands what is to be gained when Jesus takes our hand.  The question we need to ask and answer this morning, will we remain in our self-imposed prison, or will we be liberated like the deaf mute man and believe Jesus sure promise when we sing “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”?

It is my prayer that each of us take Jesus Hand and feel the freedom from that which binds us which is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  For Jesus Christ has pity even on the least of these, including each and every one of us gathered here this morning.  So let’s firmly, faithfully and fully believe the words that we sing and respond with our simple plea “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”!  AMEN.

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//trial script