SERMON TITLE: “God’s Message through Animals: The Sheep”
SERMON TEXT: Ezekiel 34:11-31
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: July 17, 2022, at First UMC
I’ve told you before that I like the Pickles comic stip. Elderly Earl and Opal usually have some funny experiences going on. In an early June series, their grandson Nelson asked Grampa [sic] Earl to tell him what his favorite animal was. Instead of telling Nelson the truth, Grampa Earl told the impressionable boy that his favorite animal was the kumquat. Earl told his grandson that kumquats “live in trees,” that “they’re very quiet and gentle,” and that—for tricks—they can “roll over.” In the next day’s comic strip, Nelson was talking with Gramma [sic] Opal, whose favorite animals are cats. When Nelson reported that Grampa’s favorite animal was a kumquat, Opal’s response was that “Grampa has a kumquat for a brain, bless his heart.” Later, Nelson informed Earl, “Gramma took me to the grocery store and showed me a kumquat.” Then, with one in his hand and his voice raised, Nelson insisted, “This is a kumquat, and it’s not an animal. It’s a fruit!” To that, Grampa Earl replied, “Did I say kumquat? My mistake. I meant to say that my favorite animal is the rutabaga.” “Oh,” said Nelson.1
During this month of July, we’ve been looking at scriptures that have something to do with animals and how God can speak to us through those creatures. On July 3rd, we heard about God’s message to us through the eagle. Last Sunday, we talked about God’s message to us through the fish. Remember? Take care of your health; some changes might be needed; and everything’s better with Jesus. Next Sunday, Austin Barron and the United Methodist Men will be leading the service, and they’ll do their own thing. But then, on July 31, we’ll return to this animal series and learn about God’s message through the donkey. Today, though, as we immerse ourselves in the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel, let’s listen for God’s message through the sheep.