Call us to join today! 1-800-827-9401
Sunday Sermons online provides full-text sermons, illustrations, prayers and children's messages. Join today

Nagging Questions

I am the handmaid of the Lord, let what you have said be done to me (Luke 1:38) Fourth Sunday of Advent

A man who was experiencing a variety of emotional problems went to see a psychiatrist about the nagging questions that were plaguing his life: why was he unable to find himself; what was his life was all about? “I want to know who I am and what is the meaning of my life,” he demanded. After listening to the patient, the psychiatrist scribbled a prescription.

“Don’t come back until you have used it up,” she said. When the pharmacist read the prescription, she said to the man, “I can’t fill this, but you can!”

The prescription read, “Spend one hour every Sunday for the next four weeks watching the sunrise while walking in a cemetery.” He did it and then answered his own question.

There is a Peanuts cartoon in which Little Lucy asks, "You know what your trouble is Charlie Brown?" Then, as she often does, Lucy answers her own question: "The whole trouble with you is you don’t understand the meaning of life!" Whereupon Charlie Brown looks straight at Lucy and asks, "Do YOU understand the meaning of life?" To which Lucy answers, "We’re not talking about me, we’re talking about you Charlie Brown!"

I just a few short days, how will we make this Christmas, a fruitful one? Allow me to answer my own questions as we turn to today's Gospel Reading from the first chapter of Luke. There we discover the attitude of the who can answer our questions about the meaning of life. The person whose first Christmas remains the most fruitful Christmas of all time: Mary, the mother of Jesus.

According to the New Testament, Mary is a gracious, strong, sensitive woman. This peasant girl, probably a teen-ager, from the little village of Nazareth way off in the back country, suddenly hears the startling announcement that she has found special favor with God and that she is to become a mother in a very special way. Can you imagine what this was like for this young woman? And the first thing she did was to ask a question which she herself could not answer: "How can this come about?" [...]

To read the complete sermon Subscribe or log-in

Preview more SUNDAY SERMONS...


 Nagging Questions
Dec 21, 2014
Fourth Sunday of Advent
  Cycle B
  Scripture : Luke 1:38
 Preview for Sermon Nagging Questions PREVIEW HERE

 Well Said!
Dec 28, 2014
The Holy Family
  Cycle B
  Scripture : Luke 2:40
 Preview for Sermon Well Said! PREVIEW HERE

 Elephants And Bees
Jan 04, 2015
The Epiphany of the Lord
  Cycle B
  Scripture : Matthew 2:2
 Preview for Sermon Elephants And Bees PREVIEW HERE

 Isn't She Wonderful?
Jan 18, 2015
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
  Cycle B
  Scripture : John 1:41
 Preview for Sermon Isn't She Wonderful? PREVIEW HERE

 We Should Do This More Often!
Dec 25, 2014
Christmas Day
  Cycle B
  Scripture : John. 1:14
 Preview for Sermon We Should Do This More Often! PREVIEW HERE

 Wow Of Life!
Jan 01, 2015
Octave of Christmas
  Cycle B
  Scripture : Luke 2:16
 Preview for Sermon Wow Of Life! PREVIEW HERE

 Divine Legacy!
Jan 11, 2015
The Baptism of the Lord
  Cycle B
  Scripture : Mark 1:11
 Preview for Sermon Divine Legacy! PREVIEW HERE

 Check, Check, Check
Jan 25, 2015
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
  Cycle B
  Scripture : Mark 1:14-15
 Preview for Sermon Check, Check, Check PREVIEW HERE

Stories you can use...

We've got a million of them (well, almost).

Prayer, Church-going, Storm

“Pray without ceasing” (1Thess. 5:17). The big blizzard of ’96 caused many businesses, schools and other institutions to close down. As the storm grew in intensity, a cardboard sign was posted on a downtown New York City Church. It read, STAY HOME AND PRAY.

Judgment, Adversity, Presence of God

“Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye” (Lk. 6:42). During World War I, the famous U.S. pilot, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, was flying a special mission to the Pacific Islands. His plane crashed, and Rickenbacker and his crew were lost at sea for twenty-one days. Some in the crew were unbelievers, but when the ordeal was finally over, each of them acknowledged that they had experienced God’s living Presence. Each had discovered God in the empty loneliness. Each had acquired strength of soul by joining with Rickenbacker and the others in prayer and Bible reading. Two readings especially helped to bring the entire group close together and to renew hope in the worst hours of that tough time. One of the readings was an Old Testament Psalm. The other was a passage from the Gospel of Luke which, in part, reads as follows: Do not judge, and you will not be judged; grant pardon and you will be pardoned ... Why do you observe the splinter in your brother ’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How can you say, “Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye,” when you cannot see the plank in your own? K

War

It is important to be sensitive to the reactions of children as they continue to ask questions about the war in the Persian Gulf, just ended. During the first few days of the conflict, Cable News Network (CNN) brought us up-to-the-minute coverage, live from Baghdad as the bombing raids began. To a small child, this must have been an awesome and unbelievable display of the forces of war. A network radio newsman reported the following request from a five-year-old girl to her mother as they were watching CNN the night after the war began: “Mommy, can I watch my show after your war show is over?” Another confused child was reported to be crying uncontrollably at her school-bus stop. When a mother from the neighborhood asked the little girl what was wrong, the child responded, “Didn’t you hear? They bombed ‘the rec’ last night.” (When she heard the newscasters saying “Iraq was bombed,” she thought they were saying “the rec” — the neighborhood recreation center — was bombed.)

Vision, Appreciation, Beauty

“For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away” (James 1:11). A small boy, walking down the street one bright summer day, spotted a copper penny glistening at his feet. He picked it up and clutched it protectively. He felt a glow of pride and excitement. It was his, and it cost him nothing! From that day on, wherever he went, he walked with his head down, eyes surveying the ground for more treasure. During his lifetime, he found 302 pennies, 24 nickels, 41 dimes, 8 quarters, 3 half dollars, and one worn out paper dollar — a total of $12.82. The money had cost him nothing — except that he missed the breathless beauty of 30,127 sunsets, the colorful splendor of 1,327 rainbows, the brilliance of hundreds of maples nipped by the autumn frost, babies growing, white clouds floating across the crystal blue sky, birds flying, animals running, sun shining, and the smiles of passing people. Van Ekeren, G., “Speaker ’s Source Book.” W-Z

MORE