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Scripture:  Mark 7:24-37
[ Summary:
 Jesus shows us the combination  ]


Supplies Needed: A combination lock (either the kind that you use for a suitcase [with three separate wheels and 9 numbers on each wheel] or the kind often used for school lockers [one wheel with numbers 0-39 on it])


ASK    (a.k.a The On-Ramp)

  • Good morning!
  • I have a question for you – Do you know what this is? (Hold up the lock)?
  • That's right, it's a lock. A combination lock to be specific.  When means you have to know the right numbers and the right ORDER of those numbers to be able to open it.
  • So if I were to give you this lock as an early Christmas present (as you can tell, I give really good gifts) do you think it would be useful to you?  (hopefully they say “no” – if they don’t say “no” help them realize that they don’t know how to unlock the lock)
  • That’s right, it wouldn’t be a very good gift because you can't use it unless you know how to unlock it.  And how might you be able to unlock it?  (give us the numbers / combination of numbers!)
  • Oh right – the combination.  And if I had a combination to share with you – do you think it would be more helpful if I just told it to you or if I told it to you and then showed you how to use it with the lock?


TELL    (a.k.a. The Freeway)

  • In today’s scripture story, we heard a story about a man who couldn’t hear or talk very well.  
  • You could even say that the man was kind of locked-up inside.
  • And, what we see is that Jesus knows the right combination to be able to get through to the man and help him get unlocked-up.  
  • It’s even like Jesus is actually opening a lock with all the actions he does with the man:  He takes the man away from the crowd, puts fingers in his ears, spits – to the side I imagine – and then touches the man’s tongue and finally says the word, “Ephphatha” which means, "Be opened."  That’s quite a combo of events!
  • But there’s something Jesus does before these combination of actions – he looks up to heaven. In other words, Jesus is listening for God’s help.
  • The reason that Jesus knew the combination to help the man be unlocked is because Jesus was listening to God.  


SHARE the Good News   (a.k.a. The Destination)

  • Earlier, we agreed that if I had the combination for the lock, it would be better for me to both tell and show you how the combination works on the lock
  • In today’s story, we are reminded that Jesus doesn’t just tell us about how to pay attention to God, but also shows us how to pay attention to God and why we would want to pay attention to God.   
  • Should we choose to learn from Jesus how to pay attention to God, then one of the things we learn to do is to keep asking and listening to God for help.
  • And when we do that, we will better know the combinations that God is offering us to help open the locked-down situations that we and our friends might be experiencing.
  • And that’s the good news for today


CLOSING Prayer

  • Let’s pray.  This is a repeat-after-me prayer.

Dear God,

Dear God,


Thank you for Jesus...

Thank you for Jesus...


...who teaches and shows us…

...who teaches and shows us…


...how to pay attention to you.

...how to pay attention to you.


Help us to be good students of his.

Help us to be good students of his.


Thank you and amen



Posted August 16, 2015
Written by Nathanael Vissia


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Written for Sunday, September 6, 2015

15th Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Year B

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