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DFLC Sermon - September 10, 2023 - Pastor Marie Meeks

Grace and peace to you, from God our Father, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Welcome to Rally Day! Rally Day is a time when congregations come together at the start of the church program year. Many of our members and friends have been away during the summer, as well. So Rally Day is a great way for us to get together and catch up with each other. I am looking forward to the preschool beginning, as well. By the time the summer is ending, I can’t wait for them to come back! This building gets way too quiet when the preschoolers are not here!

In today’s Gospel, the disciples are having a problem with children. They don’t want the children to bother Jesus. In the passage just before what we read, Jesus is in a deep, serious theological dispute with the Pharisees. This is serious stuff! Jesus doesn’t need kids bugging him. So, the disciples start herding the mothers and their children away. Jesus notices what they are doing, and immediately stops his discussion, rebuking the disciples. “Let the children come to me; do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God, as a little child, will never enter it.”

What is so important about the Kingdom of God? And where is the Kingdom of God anyway? I love a question that has many answers. When I was reading about the Kingdom of God, I came across this passage from Rev. Delmer Chilton. “Becoming a citizen of the Kingdom of God frees us from our slavery to the here and now. Becoming a citizen of the Kingdom liberates us from our anxiety about worldly success. Becoming a citizen of the Kingdom releases us from bondage to our earthly treasure. Becoming a citizen of the Kingdom of God releases us to love God and neighbor, with all our heart, mind, soul, strength, and stuff.”

We are part of the Kingdom of God when we worship together, when we learn together in Sunday School, Confirmation class, and adult forum. And as we did this morning before the service, we come together to care for people: students that need school supplies and college students who need to know we remember and pray for them through the care packages we created.

We are part of the Kingdom of God, as we live out our faith every day. The Kingdom of God is here with us, and when we leave this life, we will enter the Kingdom of God with all the saints who have come before us.

This is why we gather here: to worship, and to learn to remind ourselves and each other that God loves us. And we are called to share God’s love with others, to love one another as God loves us. That is the way we become part of the Kingdom of God. Amen.


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