Sermon- How Do We Spell God?, Matthew 18:20 sermons -- Sunday Sermons preaching resources

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Sermon Topics

How Do We Spell God?

Where two of three are gathered in My Name, there am I in the midst of them
Matthew 18:15-20

Sermon Topic Prayer

Sermon Week Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 18:20


A New York City pastor tells of the time when his parish was presented with a large supply of kneeling cushions. The donor suggested that a special ceremony be arranged to bless and dedicate the beautiful, ultra-soft cushions. The pastor felt a little uneasy about composing his own prayer for the ceremony, so he thumbed through a new, popular "Prayers-For-All-Occasions" book someone had given him. Although he didn't find a kneeling-cushion prayer, nevertheless he did discover some other interesting prayers. Among them ...

"Grace Before Outdoor Barbecues"

"The Bird Watchers' Prayer"

Prayer Over a Lottery Ticket

Such "prayers-for-all-occasions" to the contrary notwithstanding, we must remember that prayer is neither wishful thinking nor organized pious prattling. Said the New York City pastor:

I suppose the real reason I didn't trust myself with a prayer of my own composition is that deep-tufted, foam-rubbered kneeling cushions are obviously a symbol of softness where softness should not be. When we bend our knees before Almighty God, our kneecaps should experience enough hardness beneath them to signal our brains that facing Our Lord in an attitude of supplication was never meant to be easy ... It's hard to realize that we are miserable sinners when our knees are sunk in foam rubber. It's bad enough that our difficulties with reality can be soothed away by magic doses dispensed at the corner drug store. Let's not have our knees tranquilized too. The Church sometimes forgets that its mission is not only to "comfort the afflicted" but also to "afflict the comfortable." Christians will come through the "dark night of the soul" in a much healthier state if they count on faith instead of a pill or foam rubber to cushion the blow.

At one point, the pastor almost decided to cancel the cushion dedication ceremony. But a friend made a suggestion that resulted in a happy compromise. In the pastor's words, "By accepting our wise friend's suggestion, we decided to hold the ceremony. That is, we planned to dedicate the people instead of the cushions!"1

"Where two or three are gathered in My Name, there am [...]

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