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Creative Closing For Ordinary 24 - Year A
by 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 see George's web site at or write him at

THEMATIC BACKGROUND from: The Unforgiving Servant

READING:  Matthew 18:21-35

KEY VERSE:  Matthew 18:35
    "This is how my heavenly Father will treat you, unless 
    you each forgive each other from your heart."

THEORY:  God has had mercy upon us and forgiven us a huge 
debt  – going right back the treachery of Adam in the Garden.  
Therefore, God expects us to show mercy to those who hurt or offend 
us – being  merciful as He is merciful.  Failure to forgive from 
our heart, with  deep sincerity and change of attitude, breaks our
communion/identification with our heavenly Father – at least in 
this area of our life.  The result of this break in 
communion/identification with our heavenly Father is that we reap 
pain – torture, torment, and imprisonment.  It seems like Satan gets 
access to us where we are cut off from God.  The promise is that 
this torment will stop when we forgive from our heart.

RESPONSE:  I will outline an exercise in listening prayer 
that brings about a change of heart, a new spirit and you will 
experience both forgiveness from you heart and the end to some 
torment that you have been reaping in your life.  Your part is to 
do the exercise.

Choose one person with whom you have unfinished business – you feel 
some hurt, some resentment, etc.
(The following step may be omitted in a church service: Write down
10 negatives patterns, behaviours or attitudes in this person.  Write 
down 10 positive traits, patterns or attitudes in the person.)
Pick one significant incident, one painful pattern of behaviour in 
this relationship.  In a time of quiet and listening, ask God “What 
have I believed about myself because of this persons’ behaviour? 
What have I believed that is causing me so much pain?”

When that is clear to you then ask God for His truth.  “Jesus, you 
are the Way, the Truth and the Life, what is your truth for me?”
When a truth comes, try it on like a new set of clothes.  Does it 
feel good?  If this feels good, if it is a good fit, then keep these 
clothes on.  Wear them.  Live your life in the light of  Gods truth 
for you.  Thank Him for his truth.
(The more memories that are dealt with like this the more one’s
attitude toward the other will change until forgiveness from the 
heart is accomplished.)

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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