SERMON TITLE: “Christ’s Gift of Growth”
SERMON TEXT: Ephesians 4:7-16 (Children’s sermon based on Luke 2:41-52)
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: December 30, 2018, at First UMC
One of the common experiences extended families have as they gather for the Christmas holidays is the attention to and comments about growing children. “Wow, Johnny, I think you’ve grown a foot since I saw you last!” or “My goodness, Alyssa, you’re almost as tall as your mother!” And then there are the adult-to-adult, wink-and-nod remarks: “Well, Bob, you’d better watch out, or he’s going to overtake you,” or “Yeah, it’s hard to keep clothes on these kids; they just grow like weeds.”
That’s the joy of childhood, when growth mostly means getting taller. Then there’s the kind of growth we adults are prone to experience. The comments about that are more likely to happen during the car ride home after the holiday gathering is over. “Gosh, Frank has really put on the pounds this year, hasn’t he?” or “It’s too bad how much weight Sonya has gained, isn’t it?”
Fortunately, though, not all childhood or adulthood growth is limited to the vertical or horizontal dimensions. For example, Luke chapter two tells us that—after 12-year old Jesus stayed behind at the temple and scared the wits out of his parents—he obediently went home with them and continued to grow, not only in stature, but also in wisdom and in divine and human favor.
This morning, I propose to you that all our life is an opportunity for positive growth. As we’re still in the season of giving and receiving Christmas gifts, let’s look today at Ephesians 4, and see how we might receive Christ’s gift of growth.