Preached on: Sunday 21st August 2022
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Bible references: Matthew 7:24-29
Location: Brightons Parish Church
– say ‘YES’ to Jesus
So, boys and girls, it’s really good to be all together as a church family, to have all our ages and hear the buzz and atmosphere.
Have you had a good summer? Well, that doesn’t sound very good! Have you had a good summer? Oh, I’m sure we could be a wee bit louder than that! Have you had a good summer? Oh, that’s good to hear. Well, over the summer we’ve been looking at a particular Bible passage where Jesus teaches us lots of things about the kingdom of God and it has a special name this little bit of the Bible. Does anybody remember what this little bit is called? What’s it called? Do you remember? What it’s called? Any of our older young people around to help us? It’s called the Sermon on the Mount. Do you know why it’s called that? Where do you think Jesus was at the time teaching it? Was He in the river? No! Was He up a tree? No! He was actually on a hill, on a mountain and He was sitting down teaching his friends. Because, who’s Jesus? He’s God and so He had this incredible thing to teach about the kingdom of God. Now, there was so much in that little bit of the Bible that to help us remember some of it at least, I have hidden some boxes around the sanctuary, downstairs and upstairs, and in a moment, I’m going to count you down and if you want you can help me find these boxes and come and stack them up here. Okay. Now, a couple of things you’re not allowed to run, once you’ve found one you go back and take your seat. Okay. So that everybody gets a wee shot and I think those are the only rules. Okay. So, you’re looking for what? Can you see any of them just now? Can you see some? They’re brown with some white writing. Now, maybe some of our older young people could maybe do the upstairs and the younger ones maybe stay downstairs. Okay. So, I’m going to count you down. We’re going to have a wee bit music while we do this. Three. No running remember. Three, two, one, go. Great Peter, thank-you.
All right, we’ve still got a lot more to go so maybe, if you found one, you could maybe – we’ve got 12 more to go, 12 more to go. Keep looking. Maybe the adults can check underneath their chairs just to make sure they’re not hiding them with their feet. Oh good job Harris, thank-you sir, much appreciated. Right, we’ve got eight to go, eight to go before the music runs out. Come on, where are these? Ah, good job. Magic. Right seven can’t count under pressure let’s not set it on fire though. Thank-you. Good job. Six to go. Oh two, good job. That makes four, three, three to go. One to go. Everybody check underneath your seat. Make sure you’re not hiding it. One to go, one to go. Oh, one’s coming. Perfect. Thank-you so much.
Right, there we go, we’ve found them. Now, I could have made so many more boxes here and I’ll just put them on screen. Oh, let’s cancel that just now. I’ll put them on screen a moment. There’s things like trusting, things like asking, things like investing in eternity, laying up treasure in heaven, being light, turning to God, being salty, knowing God is our Heavenly Father. So many things over these past seven weeks or so. I want to give you an opportunity in a moment to turn to your neighbor or boys and girls to turn and talk with your Sunday School leaders. What one do you think is either the most important or what one has resonated with you most? That might be more an adult, for an adult question. What has resonated with you most? And we’ll get this on screen so you can see it. Okay, 30 seconds either what’s most important or what is resonating with you most this summer.
Okay. Well, I’m not gonna ask for a vote of what you think is the most important or anything like that, but I’m sure there’s a good conversation to be had there, maybe over a cup of tea like ‘Oh why did you pick that one and why did that resonate with you?’ Or ‘Why do you think that’s most important?’ Have those conversations afterwards. Don’t let it just end with that.
Now, Jesus, after teaching about all these things, and much more besides, He gets to the end of His sermon, boys and girls, and we read earlier these words ‘Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.’ Jesus is saying that when we hear it, but much more important, when we put it into practice, when we do what He teaches, we’re being wise, we’re making a good choice, we’re on the way to the good life, and to help us understand how important a choice this is He talks about two people who build a house. Do you remember that bit of the story? So, there’s a person who builds a house and what do they build on? Do you remember? One person chose to build on, do you remember? What was that? Rock. So, someone built on rock for sure and the other one built on sand. That’s right, sand and rock. And so, when the rain came down on the house that was built on the sand the person who tried to do it the easy, what happened? The house went flat! Can we do that together? One, two, three, flat! It fell down because they had tried just to do the easy thing. But then, the other person built on rock. Dug down, put in some effort, listened to it to what was the right thing to do and when the rain came down it stood firm. Didn’t it? Now Jesus is trying to help us see the importance of putting His words into practice, the importance of saying yes to Jesus, the importance of responding to Him. And this idea about saying yes reminded me of a film that it came out a couple of years ago where a family had to learn to say yes to one another. You might have seen it; you might not have. So, let me put this trailer on just now and sorry if this causes any problems at home.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being a mom, it’s that parents and kids always disagree on one thing. No, no, no rules. But saying no 50 times an hour, no, absolutely not, nope on a rope, it’s part of the job. But all of that is about to change. Have you heard about yes-day? It’s this new thing where parents say yes to everything their kids asked for. For 24 hours. Radical? What am I just cheering about this? Well, yes-days are like fun and mom and dad are like fun-killers. We are plenty fun. We used to say yes to everything. We can be fun again. Really. Let’s do this!
It’s yes-day. Who’s ready for yes-day? Ellie wants to do your hair and makeup. I have a vision. Yes, I’m glad you’re using your watercolors. What do we do. One word, two letters and oh, windows down. What is happening?
So, as I say, apologies if I just made your day much harder! But this family found the importance of saying yes to one another. That when they did, it brought them closer, it brought life, and it brought joy. And the same is true in your relationship with Jesus. Whether you’re a young person, whether you are young at heart, your choice is the same. Whether you’re going to say yes or no to Jesus, and put His teaching into practice, respond to Him, Because, when we say yes, then we get closer to Him. When we say yes, we learn more of His life and more of His joy, more of that kingdom-way. And so, I wonder whether this year, as we come back together, as a church family, as we start a new session together, can this be the year when we more often say yes to Jesus than no. Might this be a year of saying yes, not just on a Sunday, not just when the preacher says something, or a Sunday school leader says something, but, boys and girls, could we say yes to Jesus more often in our everyday. That we take what we hear on a Sunday, in our Bible readings at home, wherever it be that Jesus speaks to us, and we say yes to Him this year. Because, if we do, I think incredible things would happen in us through us, and change the community around us. So I’m praying that we say yes to Jesus this year.