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I wrote this sermon manuscript as a contribution to our Children’s Online Worship which fell on the Lectionary reading and worship on August 9, 2020.
I was asked to work on the theme, “Being Courageous to Follow Jesus,” based on the gospel lectionary reading found in Matthew 14:25 -29.
“And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, "It is a ghost!" And they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid." 28 Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." 29 He said, "Come." So, Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.”
When I was working on to develop the theme and the target audience are the children, thinking the need to include the young people, I thought of sharing the principle that in learning how to ride a bicycle, you can get started in dealing with fear or nervousness by accepting you need a bicycle with a training wheel or training wheels. Training wheels provide a support system and can hold a rider up. For children as beginners, parents or guardians provide love, dedication and patience in teaching them that fear could be overcome early in their lives. They could become courageous in riding with confidence.
40 SECOND HOMILY and the Children’s Online Worship sermon is a combination of titles, “OVERCOMING FEAR” and “BEING COURAGEOUS TO FOLLOW JESUS.”
I recorded a sermon video that showed that I change my outfit from my bicycle outfit to my preaching outfit. The body of the sermon is as follows:
What a beautiful story we have for today. I believe that you and I love stories. Stories could be about us, and once our stories are put together, they are like a beautiful tapestry woven like the stole I’m wearing or this beautiful wall parament or ornament made by hands of indigenous people.
We have a story about courage. Courage that has overcome fear. Courage is a trait that we learn from others who are patient in teaching us.
As we read the story in front of us, when the disciples were in the boat, Jesus followed them by walking on water and they didn’t recognize him and they even said, “It’s a ghost.” I think they’ve never expected Jesus to be walking on water. I also think that you and I will have the same feeling, of fear and being terrified on things that we never expected to be happening or to be done by someone we know. The description is, “they cried out in fear.” Can you and I role play that? (Expression) Jesus recognized their fear and he told them not to be afraid. In order for Peter to overcome his fear, he asked Jesus to him come to him. Peter had courage and he also walked on water.
You and I are afraid in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We take courage by coming to God by doing the right thing of helping slow spread the virus. Walking on water is like walking in the unknown. Taking courage is about facing the unknown of the virus and doing the right thing of wearing face mask or covering. Taking courage is helping the front-liners not to be overwhelmed of caring for sick patients. Being courageous to follow Jesus is to walk on the water of love and acceptance of all people of color and to say together, “BLACK LIVES MATTER.”I invite you to turn to your loved ones and friends worshipping with you today and say, “Thank you for teaching me how to take courage.” Amen.
The 40 SECOND HOMILY:OVERCOMING FEAR in line sentences:

  • We, young and old, admit we are afraid.
  • God loves us even when are afraid.
  • Jesus is a reminder that God is with us.
  • God has never abandoned us.
  • Walking on water is about life.
  • Life has its big and small waves.
  • Coming to God in Jesus is faith.
  • We shall overcome injustice and evil in the world.
3 Questions for Reflection/Discussion 
  1. What are you afraid about during pandemic?
  2. Where do you get courage when afraid in the midst of racial injustice that is happening all around us?
  3. What are the ways you come to Jesus.
 40 Second Homily: Overcoming Fear ppt

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