Security In A Wild And Wacky World Derl G. Keefer September 1, 2003 First Sunday of Advent (C), November 30, 2003 Security in a Wild and Wacky World Luke 21:25-36 Marty Findley. Now I know that you don’t know Marty, but I do. He was one of the adult parishioners in my first assignment after seminary graduation. We lived about two hours from Cincinnati, with a large amusement park nearby. Our church took a group over for a day of fun. Late in the morning Marty said, “Pastor, come on, let’s ride the roller coaster.” I assured him that anything so wild and wacky could not be of God! Marty nagged me until I relented and agreed to ride. After what seemed an hour in line, watching the crazy people in those little cars going up and down, and me trying to get out of line, and him not letting me, we finally got into one. They strapped us in and a bar came down. It wasn’t long until we were on our way. The first few moments were not bad. Honestly, I kind of enjoyed it. Suddenly we were slowly going up the l-o-n-g hill and in a moment we swooshed downward at breathtaking speed. From that moment forward I was yelling at my now ex-friend that IF I ever got off this contraption I was going to kill him for talking me into this nonsense. It really was a wild, wacky ride and the only security we had was a little piece of leather and a very small bar. As I ride along in today’s world, I get the feeling that it too, is a “wild and wacky” journey. There are so many things that undermine my security. In today’s scripture I find some tips on how to live in a wild and wacky world. Tip One. Don’t let the negative circumstances of life destroy you. (v. 25-28) My daughter sent me one of those circulating e-mails about a guy named Michael. He was the kind of guy you love to hate, because he was always in a good mood and when asked how he was doing replied, “If I were any better, I would be twins!” The story goes that Michael fell 60 feet from a communications tower he was working on. Reconnecting with him after the fall, the friend asked Michael what went through his mind as the accident took place. He answered, “The first thing that went through my mind was the well being of my soon-to-be-born daughter. As I lay on the ground I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or die. I chose to live.” Michael was asked, “Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” He said, “the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, ‘he’s a dead man’. I knew I needed to take action. A nurse kept shouting questions into my ear thinking that I was deaf. She asked, ‘Are you allergic to any-thing?’” I replied, “Yes.” Immediately the doctors and nurses stopped working on me as they waited for my reply.” I took a deep breath and yelled, “Gravity”. They began to laugh. As they started back Michael said, “I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive and not dead.” Michael lived, thanks to the skill of the doctors, the mercy of God and his attitude. Whether this story is apocryphal or true the basic truth is: Don’t let the negative attitudes override your positive, God-given attitudes on life. Tip Two. Don’t ignore the person that can change your outlook: God. (vv. 25-28) I’m like the groom on his wedding day. As he knelt for prayer someone had written on the bottom of his shoes the word, “HELP” in big bold letters. We all need help and there is no shame in asking for it. Why not ask the one who knows all, sees all, is in all, gives direction to all, and desires to help all: God. He loves us so much that He took on human form in the person of Jesus so that He could know exactly how to be a help to His creation. When we open our minds and hearts to Him, He will change our outlook on life for the good. Tip Three. Don’t ignore the future. (vv. 29-31) When Jesus gave the parable of the fig tree it was to be an encouragement to all believers. Our future is in His hands! Heed the Apostle Paul’s advice, “Always be cheerful. Pray unceasingly. Under all circumstances give thanks, for such is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thess. 5:16-18, Berkeley Version) Tip Four. Read and Believe the Word. (vv. 32-33) Karl Barth wrote, “God used the Scriptural Gospel to bring me to saving faith in Jesus Christ. He has also convinced me that the Scriptures are utterly true, inerrant, if you will; they are ‘the swaddling clothes in which Christ is laid.’ Some will call this conviction hopelessly naïve or a refusal to look at the findings of twentieth century science. So be it. If the scientist is our final authority, ask him if dead men rise.” God’s Word will bring you to life – real and genuine life. Can you accept it? Tip Five. Keep your eyes to the sky. (vv. 34-36) This planet is not our final home. We are inhabitants for only a short time. It is the preparation stage for our final home . . . heaven. So when life gets miserable, look up! Bette Middler sang a beautiful song about God watching us from a distance, but that’s bad theology. Our God is not watching us from a distance, but is involved with us close and up front. One of these days when we least expect it, He will come again and lead us home. So watch! Remember my roller-coaster friend, Marty? What did I do to my “friend”? I enjoyed the rest of the morning with him – about 7 times on the roller coaster! You see, he helped me learn to relax on that wild and wacky ride! Jesus will help us ride this wild and wacky world and will go with us! __________ Sermon brief provided by Derl G. Keefer, Adult Ministries Coordinator, Church of the Nazarene, Kansas City, MO Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.