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Create Something Beautiful

... he turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet giving Him thanks
Luke 17:11-19

Sermon Topic Faith

Sermon Week Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 17:15-16


Many years ago a boat was wrecked in a storm on one of the Great Lakes. Rescuing teams were sent to help, including one made up of Northwestern University students. One student, a young man named Edward Spencer, rescued at least sixteen people from the sinking ship. When he was carried exhausted from the scene, he could only say, "Did I do my best? Do you think I did my best?" Years later, at a class reunion, one of the speakers recalled this act of heroism. Someone called out that Edward Spencer was present in the audience. Spencer was invited to come forward. Old and gray now, he made his way to the podium as the assembly cheered and applauded. The speaker asked him what in particular did he remember most about the event. "Only this," he replied, "of the sixteen or seventeen people I saved, not one of them thanked me."

The Old Testament people of the Exodus realized that God's mighty acts of Power and Grace and Love called forth from them a specific, tangible response of thanksgiving. They were wise enough to know that it's not enough just to feel thankful. Feelings are so illusory, temporary, often superficial, often misleading. They were wise enough to know that it's not enough to talk about thanksgiving. Talk is cheap! For what God had done for them during their flight from Egypt and their epic journey to freedom -- The Exodus -- these people knew that they needed to express their gratitude in some tangible form.

One of the tangible ways in which they expressed their gratitude was to bring a portion of their material blessings to the place of worship and offer it to God.

Another tangible way in which these Old Testament people expressed their gratitude to God was through their God-given talents. They knew that they could use their abilities, their experience, their skills, their knowledge, to create something beautiful with which to say "Thank you" to God.

Moses had a sister named Miriam, and music was her thing. Having participated in the liberating Exodus experience, she [...]

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