Monday, October 13, 2014

Can You Inoculate Against Abundance?

Suzi Bryan was sharing stories of her mother Patsy as we discussed her funeral arrangements last week.  She told me that once when she had Chicken Pox on her birthday that her mom went ahead with the birthday party and just called all the mothers of her friends and said, "If your child hasn't had Chicken Pox, you'll want to stay home but if she's already had it, bring her on out to the house!"

I thought this was a wonderful example of living our lives regardless of the circumstances.

Short term pleasure is often short-sided.
I don't really remember much about my own Chicken Pox except that I had a lot of pock marks that
scabbed over (probably from my scratching - remember, don't scratch!).  I may have been covered in pink calamine lotion at one point but that's a little fuzzy as well.

Neither of my kids have had it and I'm not so sure that it's been a good thing to deny them of this important rite of passage from childhood:

     staying home from school
     being itchy all day
     hearing the constant "quit scratching" reminders from parents

Germs are something we share all the time with one another but without intent.

I remember the slogan of The United Methodist Church in the 1980's was "Catch the Spirit".  Maybe some of you even had one of the bumper stickers on your cars.  I ran across an old video on YouTube of a "Catch the Spirit" commercial that ran on local television:

I love how they show some people's anger just melt away when they "catch the Spirit".  It reminds me of a Different Strokes episode.  I wish it was that easy.  The ad campaign for our denomination caught a lot of flack for comparing the Holy Spirit to the type of spirit you catch at a sporting event or worse, a common cold!

This Sunday, my sermon title will be "Catch the Spirit" and I'll be using a very short parable by Jesus as relayed in Matthew 13:33.  Rather than link it, I can print the whole thing here:

<Jesus> told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”    (NRSV)

This parable speaks to a sense of abundance but also has a darker side that we may not get at first glance.  I'm looking forward to preaching on this as we celebrate the abundance of grace we have in God!  If you are in the Edmond area, I hope you'll join us and if you are otherwise engaged, you can subscribe to our church Youtube channel.

In Christ,


Picture By Orrling and Tomer S [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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