SERMON TITLE: “A Little Child Shall Lead Them: A Boy Who Heard God’s Voice”
SERMON TEXT: 1 Samuel 3:1-21
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: September 6, 2020, at First UMC
In the summer of 2017, United Methodist Communications ran a Facebook request for stories about “amazing kids.” In response, all kinds of wonderful and inspirational stories came in, telling about talented and energetic children who created programs, collected items, or raised money for great causes like food banks, pet food for animal shelters, bike helmets, school supplies, clean water wells in Nicaragua, Christmas toys for needy families, and more.
Because it goes along with our September Mission Emphasis, I decided to share with you the story about Kayla Smith of the Jerome United Methodist Church in Plain City, Ohio. Kayla had overheard her mother’s friend talking about how expensive diapers were for her baby. So Kayla thought, instead of getting presents for herself for her 10th birthday, she would ask people in her church and others to help her collect diapers for families in need. For her 10th birthday, it made sense to try to collect 10,000 diapers. Kayla happily received 12,000. A year later, for her 11th birthday, Kayla increased her goal to 15,000, and she collected 16,000. “‘The funniest part,’’ said Kayla, ‘‘‘was every day we’d get diapers in the mail. The mailman was like, Why is she getting so many diapers?’”
Kayla said her next goal would be to get a whole delivery truck full of diapers. But then her goal would have to be increased to getting a loading dock, and for that, she’d need the goal of obtaining a whole warehouse in which to store all the diapers. Feeling encouraged by her success, Kayla offered this advice to others who might follow her example: “Just go with what your heart tells you to do.”*
Obviously, Kayla is a girl who can dream big dreams and inspire and lead other people. And that goes very well with the sermon series I want to preach during this month of September. I’m calling the series “A Little Child Shall Lead Them.” Those words are a quotation from Isaiah 11:6 that describes what life would be like in God’s peaceable kingdom. In this series, we’re going to recall a variety of biblical stories of children who listened to God and answered God’s call. Beginning today with young Samuel, we’re going to see how the stories of these children will inspire and lead us.