At St John’s Lutheran Church in Lakeville, MN, we will use two Sermon Series for the Summer of 2020. The first series is entitled “This is My Father’s World“and the second series is “Would You Rather Be…?” (this will be coming out soon!)
(Logo credit to Perry Fuerniss)
“This is My Father’s World” is a 6-week sermon series intertwining creation themes and hymn #824 from the Lutheran Book of Worship. The only issue we ran into was that the hymn has only 3 verses, and so for a 6 week series that meant we had to write 3 more. That was fun!
Here is how it is laid out:
Week 1 Theme: Heirloom Tomatoes. Do you remember those days before air conditioning? When the summer day was thick with humidity? No one wanted to cook? That’s when people would pluck a tomato right off the vine to make a tomato sandwich: two pieces of bread, some mayo, and a thick slice of an heirloom tomato – those were life-giving vines for hot summer days.
Texts: Psalm 80:7-11; John 15:1-8
Hymn of the Day: 824, v. 1 – This is my Father’s world; and to my list’ning ears all nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world; I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas, his hand the wonders wrought. (Words by Malthie D. Babcock)
Week 2 Theme: Pollinators. Bees and butterflies buzz around to pollinate plants – the plants that produce the food that we eat. This is God’s way through the work of these pollinators to care and provide for us. How do we in turn care for them?
Texts: Genesis 8:13-22; Matthew 6:28b-30
Hymn of Praise: 824, v. 2 – This is my Father’s world; the birds their carols raise; the morning light, the lily white, declare their maker’s praise. This is Father’s world; he shines in all that’s fair. In the rustiling grass I hear him pass; he speaks to me ev’rywhere. (Words by Malthie D. Babcock)
Week 3 Theme: Moon and Night. Anglers often go fishing at sunset or sunrise. The day cools off, and the fish come up from the depths to play under the moonbeams. Jesus knew this and tells Peter to fish on the other side of the boat. Their catch was huge! What else could Jesus teach us today?
Texts: Psalm 121; John 21:1-14
Hymn of Praise: 824, v. 3 – This is my Father’s world; oh, let me not forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet. This is my Father’s world; why should my heart be sad? The Lord is kind, let heaven ring; God reigns, let earth be glad. (Words by Malthie D. Babcock)
Week 4 Theme: Seeds. Remember this children’s poem? A little seed for me to sow, a little soil to make it grow. A little hole, a little pat, a little wish and that is that. A little sun, a little shower, a little while – and then, a flower! (Anonymous) Isn’t that’s how God works seeds of faith in us? Is it any different? The miracle of the seed.
Texts: Genesis 1:11-12, 29-31; Mark 4:26-32
Hymn of Praise: 824 – This is my Father’s world; creation sings with praise, the green blades rise, under sun, moon, skies, when Christ alive is raised! This is my Father’s world; who else yet needs to hear, that they are loved, into life by God, and Easter comes for them?! (Words by Andrew Smith)
Week 5 Theme: Trees. What can you do in a tree? They are full of fun as you can climb it and swing from its branches. But trees are also life-giving as they produce oxygen, fruit to eat, and provide shelter. Seeing a tree take root and sprout reinforces the joy and life found in God’s creation.
Texts: Isaiah 55; Luke 21:29-31
Hymn of Praise: 824 – This is my Father’s world; with spring, new life abounds. The birds will sing, the flowers bloom, God’s love fills the earth, all around. This is my Father’s world; creation sings anew, of a love so deep, for me, for you, all found in Jesus, our Lord. (Words by HRJ)
Week 6 Theme: Seashells. Many people like to search for seashells at the beach. But over the years, the seashell population is becoming scarce. Certain shells are harder to find, and so now seashells are turning into a precious commodity. The Kingdom of God is like a rare seashell or even a pearl, that once you find it, you won’t want to let it go.
Texts: Psalm 8; Matthew 13:44-46
Hymn of Praise: 824 – This is my Father’s world; the mountains to behold. They cause my eye, to seek the sky a majesty made from old. This is my Father’s world; ‘midst fields of golden wheat, the kernels pearled, helps feed the world, a community most complete. (Words by Jon Kopplin)