Sermon for Sunday 19th November – West Lakes Church Family Sunday.
The Bible reading is the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1
There is a picture of people’s hands clasped up in prayer and pleading to God. The colours are sad colours…they look like the colour of the sky on a sad and gloomy day…grey and black.
When we feel sad we can pray to God about what is making us sad.
Like Hannah did when she wanted a child of her own to love…she went to the Temple, which is like a big church and she prayed.
I think Hannah teaches us something about God when she prays about her sadness. She teaches us that we don’t have to hide our feelings from God…that we can be honest about what is going on our lives. We don’t have to pretend we are OK when we aren’t feeling OK.
When we are happy we can tell God about it.
And God wants to know about the times we are feeling sad too.
Now sadness is not all bad news.
There are times when I’m sad because I didn’t do a job very well and I feel I let people down, or when I didn’t do very well in a test or when people laugh at me and make fun of me. I talk to God about those times, because I feel like the picture on the screen then.
Other things that make me sad are when I see people dying of diseases like AIDs in Mawali and lots of those people are young children. I feel sad when I hear that people have their precious things stolen and when I hear there is not enough water in the River Murray and it’s dying.
Sadness like this comes from really caring about someone or something.
Perhaps you have felt sadness like this too if someone you know has been hurt or something you care about is getting worse.
Sadness like that urges us to action.
We want to do something about it to make it better.
Often when Jesus was walking around with his disciples, he would be sad when he saw the way some people were treated badly, through no fault of their own. They were treated badly because they were blind or crippled or poor. Jesus didn’t think that was how God wanted the world to live.
So he would do something about it.
He would heal the people; he would challenge the people in power about their attitudes. He would feed the hungry.
He would tell people about God’s kingdom.
A bit like the lady in the play today – she wanted to tell people the good news about God’s blessings. But she wasn’t just all words, was she? What was in the Bible she gave away?
Twenty dollars! Enough for a good feed for 2 homeless people.
That changed sad faces to glad faces, didn’t it?
Someone who cares can help you when you are sad too. God needed that lady to share his love and to care for those 2 people in the gutter. That was how they knew God’s blessing.
That lady was willing to share her faith in God to bless and she was willing to give $20 for God to use her to help others who are sad.
That’s how the church or the people who believe in God and worship God by following Jesus Christ, works.
We all feel sad sometimes.
We all care for one another when someone is feeling sad.
When we feel sad, we can turn to one of Jesus’ friends here at Church to help us be glad again – glad to be alive. Like the little girl in the picture.
And as a friend of Jesus, we can do things about situations that make us feel sad, like the drought…conserving our water, so everyone can be glad again!
One thing that makes me feel glad after I’ve been a bit sad is to sing a song about Jesus…and that’s what we are going to do now.
But first let’s have a prayer:
Thanks for wanting to know when we are sad as well as when we are glad. Thanks for people who care about our feelings and who do good things for us. Amen