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Creative Closing For Ordinary 22 - Year A - George Hartwell -
Written by George Hartwell, 'Creative Closings' provide the preacher and liturgist with a way to lead the congregation to a deeper experience of the message of the selected Revised Common Lectionary text or texts for the day. 'Creative Closings' follow the sermon or homily and most often pick up on the theme of one of the sermons provided on the 'Sermons & Sermon - Lectionary Resources' site (as referenced in the 'the thematic background'. Each Creative Closing can also stand on it's own and might be used as well in a devotional or bible study session.

If this Creative Closing is of use to you please fell free to utilize it, but reproduction electronically or in print requires the author's authorization. George Hartwell would also like to hear your response to this resource. You may write him at

THEMATIC BACKGROUND from: In The Way or On The Way

READING:  Matthew 16:21-28

KEY VERSE:  Matthew 16:23
    (XX) Jesus turned around and said to Peter: “Get away from 
    me, Satan!  You are an obstacle in my way, for these thoughts 
    of yours are men’s thoughts, not God’s”
PRINCIPLE:  First Peter is commended for hearing from heaven; quite 
soon after he is rebuked for opposing Jesus as he heads to Jerusalem to 
face his death.  In principle listening to God is blessed: following our 
own first inclinations gets rebuked.  God blesses our listening for God’s
thoughts – for revelation knowledge.  Real blessing is given to those who
receive revelation from God; who hear the voice of God; who know who
Jesus is.

RESPONSE:  Our response is to find what is necessary to listen to 
God.  We then commit to do it.  Hearing God – revelation directly from 
our Father in heaven – is the daily bread of the disciple.

In this scripture Peter is rebuked for following his own thoughts rather 
 than listening for God’s thoughts.

In our quiet time identify with Peter.  Jesus just rebuked you.  Your
thinking was right off the mark.  You don’t want to be embarrassed by 
being so out of touch with God again.  So in your pain you ask Jesus: 
“What must I do to have God’s thoughts?”

Now be still.  Quiet your thoughts so you can listen.

copyright - George Hartwell, 2002 
            Page by Rev. Richard J. Fairchild 2002 - 2005
            please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these resources.

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