Sermon- The Pursuit Of Happiness, Luke 16:31 sermons -- Sunday Sermons preaching resources

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The Pursuit Of Happiness

If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead
Luke 16:19-31

Sermon Topic Happiness

Sermon Week Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 16:31


"Dear Abby" once received a letter from a fifteen-year-old girl which read as follows:

Happiness is knowing that your parents won't almost kill you if you come home a little late. Happiness is having your own bedroom. Happiness is having parents that trust you. Happiness is getting the telephone call you've been praying for. Happiness is getting good grades and making your parents proud of you. Happiness is being a member of a popular circle. Happiness is having parents who don't fight. Happiness is knowing that you're dressed as well as anybody. Happiness is something I don't have -- Signed, "Fifteen and Unhappy"

Shortly after the letter was published, "Dear Abby" received a response from a thirteen-year-old girl who wrote:

Dear Abby -- Happiness is being able to walk. Unhappiness is being able to talk. Happiness is being able to see. Happiness is reading a letter from a fifteen-year-old girl who can do all three things and still says she isn't happy. I can talk, I can see, I can hear, but I can't walk -- Signed, "Thirteen and Happy."

One of the characters in today's Gospel parable is a rich man who believed that happiness is money and possessions. He would have agreed with the fifteen-year-old who told Dear Abby that "Happiness is knowing that you're dressed as well as anybody." The outer-garment he wore was made of the finest wool dyed a deep purple. His undergarments were made of fine Egyptian linen. These were real status symbols. When a man donned his deep purple robe he was saying to the world, "Look at me! I'm a rich man!"

The second character in the parable is a poor, sick beggar named Lazarus. His "body was filled with sores" which the dogs came and licked. He is laying at the gate of the rich man's mansion, hoping to receive some scraps from the sumptuous meal being served inside. These were not ordinary table scraps, but the remnants of bits of bread that had been dipped into fingerbowls and used by the diners to wipe their faces and hands. After the [...]

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