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Sermon for Nursing Home- Matthew 6:8b-15

Our Father in Heaven...


There is so much significance in this title and being claimed a child of
God…

It means you are cherished and adored by the father who was singing over
you before you even spoke a word, before you took a breath, he breathed
his life in you.

Our Father in Heaven…


That means we are connected to the global church as one family in Christ
Jesus.
When we pray here, we pray along with our brothers and sisters across the
world.

In May I travelled to the Dominican Republic, which is on the same island


as Haiti, with my mission team from my school, UDTS.

When I served on mission there, God showed me how important it is to


engage with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

We need each other. We need each other’s faith to point us back to Christ
when we feel lost, to remind us that we are a part of something much larger
than ourselves.

The power of presence speaks volumes, even when we are not fluent in
each other’s native language. God’s love still shines through when we are
sincerely present with one another in love.

There was a moment after a joint worship service in the little village my
mission team and I were serving at in the DR.

We had just finished the service and were now going around passing the
peace to one another.

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Sermon for Nursing Home- Matthew 6:8b-15
A woman came up to me with her baby and handed him off to me. I wasn’t
sure what she was saying, but her eyes were gentle, and her tone of voice
was pleasant and sweet.

I could just tell that she was speaking in love and trust as she handed her
little baby boy over to me to hold.

We have a special connection as the family of God, where when we work


together, God shows us a little glimpse of heaven.

And when we worship together, sharing one faith in Jesus, God reveals his
heart for unity between his children.

When we would come together for worship during the mission trip, we
would speak and sing of the Espiritu Santo, which is the holy spirit.

The community would sing Santo, Santo, Santo, exclaiming of how holy the
name of the Lord is.

Though I didn’t know or understand all of the words the community we


were sharing in ministry with were saying, I could feel the Espiritu Santo,
the holy spirit.

Everyone’s heart was so fixed on worshiping God as they made a joyful


noise to him and praised his holy name.

Our Father in Heaven… Hallowed be thy name…

The name above every name. Alpha, Omega, Beginning, the End, Savior,
Messiah. There are so many names for God that reveal to us a different
facet of his character.

Jehovah Jireh which says in 2 little words how he is the one who sees our
needs and provides.
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Sermon for Nursing Home- Matthew 6:8b-15
Immanuel is a name for God that resonates throughout the Gospel of
Matthew, that we just read from.

Immanuel meaning God with us. This is God’s promise that his character is
trustworthy, not waning or wandering from us, but that he will be with us
always.

God is like our protective parent who sometimes says yes, sometimes says
no, sometimes says wait, but always has our best intention in mind.

The one that gave us life so that we may enjoy all things and have
abundant life.

Our Father in Heaven… Hallowed be thy name…

They kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…

We pray for God to reveal himself, to perfect his creation, and make our
world on earth as wonderful as his kingdom is in heaven.

THY will be done, not sweet-talking Jesus into asking for what we want, or
trying to persuade him.

If we are always in agreeance with God when we pray, we are probably


kidding ourselves.

This is our heavenly father we are coming to!

HE ultimately knows what’s best, which means we in turn don’t know the
best.

Only he can see the whole picture, and we are fortunate enough to see a
little sliver of that picture, of the grand scheme of the salvation for the
world.
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Sermon for Nursing Home- Matthew 6:8b-15
In the meantime, we pray along with the rest of creation, for the fullness of
God’s good will to be done...

Our Father in Heaven… Hallowed be thy name…


Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…
Give us this day our daily bread…

Asking for our daily bread is a metaphor for asking God to provide for our
day to day physical needs. He gives us enough to get through tomorrow,
until he calls us home.

We can go to him with anything, for anything, no matter how big or small,
for he cares about it all.

We depend on God for our daily bread and look to the end of time when
God will bring everything to perfect completion.

But for now, we are in the here but not yet. Enjoying the abundant life God
wants for us and the beauty he’s given, but also knowing life isn’t how it
should be, not how it was first intended, with lots of worry, confusion, and
questions…

When I was completing my first year of seminary at UDTS, I was asking a


lot of questions.

I was looking and searching and applying to internships all over the country
before I left the country for my mission in the DR.

So, I’m doing final exams as I’m preparing and planning to co-lead this
short-term mission trip while also searching for opportunities to serve in a
church over the summer once I return to the US.

It was quite hectic to say the least and I was asking a lot of questions to
God about how this was all going to work out.
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Sermon for Nursing Home- Matthew 6:8b-15
And out of my own strength, I knew I would not get it all done.

I knew God’s will would be done through the chaos, but I still worried.

When I got replies from churches, they were kind, but said there is no
position for me right now, maybe try again next year.

But then God did something amazing…


He made our big world seem small by how he brought about this church
connection, getting me from Iowa to South Carolina.

My seminary advisor and professor Beth also taught Pastor Darren while
he was studying at the same seminary I’m studying at currently.

She knew of an internship at his church in Orangeburg and told me to


apply, even though I would still be on mission out of the country when he
initially wanted the internship to begin.

As you can see, God got me here all the way from Iowa! With the help of
my mom, we were able to drive here together, and she flew back home.

God worked out all the details in between.

Our father provides for us and takes care of us through the work of his
family, our brothers and sisters in Christ!

He got everything to work out on time, in his time.

Never did I think I was going to be in South Carolina for the summer! I had
never been here before, so it was completely off my radar.
But God was up to something.

I had no clue what God was up to in South Carolina or that he would let me
participate in a small part of it.
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Sermon for Nursing Home- Matthew 6:8b-15
And to be a small part of the amazing kingdom work that God is doing in
the Dominican Republic was a blessing.

Being able to share my experiences and their stories connects us to them.

To see and spend time with and get to know more members of the body of
Christ helped me feel more unified to the family of God.

This is our father we’re talking about! He is yours and you are his! We don’t
need to worry, but have faith in the only one worthy of placing our faith in.

Matthew 6:25-26 says,


“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink;
or about your body, what you will wear.

Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than
clothes?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are you not much more valuable than they?”

We see the birds outside fly around effortlessly, seeming like they don’t
have a care in the world, and they are provided for.

How much more has and will the father take care of you?
His daughter… his son…

And you are surrounded by your brothers and sisters in Christ.

You are so valuable by the savior of the world, our heavenly Father.

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