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When Humpty Dumpty Falls

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INTRODUCTION

OPENING STORY:
IN THE MID 20TH CENTURY OUR COUNTRY WAS LOCKED IN A COLOSSAL RACE FOR THE MOON. THINGS WERE TENSE. WHO WOULD GET THERE FIRST. RIGHT AT THE HEIGHT OF THE SPACE RACE OUR PRESIDENT JFK FOUND HIMSELF TAKING A TOUR OF THE NASA SPACE CENTER IN 1962. IT WAS HERE WHERE HE ENCOUNTERED A MAN PUSHING A BROOM…A JANITOR. IN AN ATTEMPT AT SMALL TALK, JFK ASKED HIM, “AND YOU, WHAT DO YOU DO HERE?” PAUSING FROM HIS SWEEPING THE MAN SAID WITH A SMILE ON HIS FACE, “I’M HELPING TO PUT A MAN ON THE MOON.” THIS JANITOR UNDERSTOOD A LESSON ABOUT WORK WE ALL COULD LEARN FROM, AND THAT IS HE WASN’T JUST PUSHING A BROOM, BUT HE WAS MAKING HISTORY. WORK MUST BE CONNECTED TO A LARGER NARRATIVE IF IT IS EVER TO BE UNDERSTOOD OR UTILIZED PROPERLY. THIS IS WHERE WORK TRANSCENDS A JOB, AND BECOMES A VOCATION.
WHAT IS A VOCATION? THE GREAT THEOLOGIAN FREDERICK BUECHNER ONCE SAID THAT OUR VOCATION STANDS AT THE INTERSECTION OF OUR HEARTS GREATEST GLADNESS AND OUR WORLDS DEEPEST HUNGER.
EXAMPLES: FOR ME MY VOCATION IS A PREACHER. YOUR DEEPEST HUNGER IS TO HEAR AND UNDERSTAND THE WORD. THAT’S GOOD, BECAUSE MY DEEPEST GLADNESS IS TO PROCLAIM THE WORD. IF YOU’RE VOCATION IS THAT OF A TEACHER THAT’S GREAT. PEOPLE’S DEEP HUNGER IS TO LEARN, AND YOUR GREAT JOY IS TO TEACH. IF YOU ARE A DOCTOR GREAT! PEOPLE’S DEEP HUNGER IS HEALTH, AND YOUR GREAT GLADNESS IS TO RESTORE THEM BACK TO HEALTH. ON AND ON WE COULD GO.
CREATING THE NEED:
BUT THE PROBLEM IS IT’S SO EASY TO FORGET THESE THINGS. WORK CAN DERAIL FROM VOCATION TO A JOB IN A MINUTE. WHERE WE BECOME PREOCCUPIED WITH BILLS, POSSESSIONS, ROUTINES AND THINGS OF THIS WORLD. LIKE THE JANITOR WE CAN THINK HERE WE GO AGAIN, ANOTHER DAY OF PUSHING THE BROOM, TYPING ON A COMPUTER, OR TAKING AN ORDER, WHEN GOD’S CALLING US TO MAKE HISTORY. WHEN IT COMES TO VOCATION, SHOOT, WHEN IT COMES TO LIFE, THE GREAT STRUGGLE IN LIFE IS THE STRUGGLE OF PERSPECTIVE.
SEGUE TO THE TEXT:
DANIEL ISN’T ONE TO LOSE PERSPECTIVE. HE KEEPS HIS HEAD WHEN EVERYONE ELSE IS FRANTIC. SUMMARIZE THE STORY. WHY IS DANIEL USED AS GREATLY AS HE IS ON THIS NIGHT? DANIEL KNOWS HE HASN’T BEEN CALLED TO JUST PUSH A BROOM, BUT TO MAKE HISTORY. BECAUSE DANIEL MAY BE IN BABYLON, BUT BABYLON IS NOT IN HIM. HE’S GOT PERSPECTIVE, AND WHEN YOU HAVE PERSPECTIVE YOU CAN NAVIGATE YOUR WORLD IN SUCH A WAY THAT WHILE YOU MAY BE IN THE WORLD, THE WORLD IS NOT IN YOU!

PERSPECTIVE-

EXPLANATION:
THE EVENTS OF OUR TEXT TAKE PLACE ON THE EVENING OF OCTOBER 11TH, 539B.C. WE KNOW THIS BECAUSE THE FALL OF BABYLON HAPPENS THE NEXT DAY OFFICIALLY ON OCTOBER 12TH… OUTSIDE THE WALLS OF THIS ONCE THOUGHT IMPREGNABLE CITY IS PERSIA, JUST MOMENTS AWAY FROM DOING THE UNTHINKABLE- BRINGING DOWN MIGHTY BABYLON. REMEMBER WE HAVE BEEN SAYING ALL ALONG THAT BABYLON IS A METAPHOR FOR THE WORLD IN WHICH WE LIVE- A SYSTEM OPPOSED TO GOD’S WILL AND WAY OF DOING THINGS. LIKE BABYLON, THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT, AND AS HARD AS IT IS TO BELIEVE, WILL ULTIMATELY BE CONQUERED BY JESUS CHRIST AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. . .
POINT- THE KINGDOM OF THIS WORLD IS TEMPORARY, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS ETERNAL. LIVE FOR WHAT IS ETERNAL. WE ARE ALL TERMINAL WITH THE DIAGNOSIS OF OUR DEMISE PENDING. LIVE WITH A SENSE OF ETERNAL URGENCY COMPELLED BY THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
EBENEZER SCROOGE AND THE CHRISTMAS CAROL. A CRUMUDGEON. A MISERABLE HUMAN BEING WHO HAS NO JOY AND IS CRUEL TO PEOPLE. THEN WHAT HAPPENS? HE ENCOUNTERS THE GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. AND THIS TOTALLY CHANGES HIM. AND HE TURNS INTO THE MOST BENEVOLENT KIND PERSON. WHAT CHANGED HIM? YOU GOT IT PERSPECTIVE!
APPLICATION: IF YOU WERE GIVEN 24 HOURS TO LIVE WHAT WOULD YOU STOP DOING? THEN STOP IT! WHAT WOULD YOU START DOING? THEN START IT! SAY WITH A SENSE OF PASSION!

GOD IS EVERYTHING-

EXPLANATION: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE HAVE PERSPECTIVE? WHEN WE NAVIGATE THE DARKNESS OF THE TEMPORAL UNDER THE LIGHT OF THE ETERNAL? WHAT DIFFERENCE WILL THAT MAKE IN OUR LIVES AND IN OUR WORK. OUR TEXT SHOWS US. EXPLAIN VERSES 1-4. DRUNK. ORGIES. THROWING A PARTY WHILE DANGER IS LOOMING RIGHT OUTSIDE THE CITY WALLS.
QUICK APPLICATION- WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE, THIS WORLD BECOMES EVERYTHING. AND YOU BECOME CAUGHT UP IN THE NOW. LIFE IS ALL ABOUT PLEASURE AND SATISFYING YOUR APPETITES.
QUICK ILLUSTRATION: GOT MY ANNUAL PHYSICAL TOMORROW. MEANT NOTHING TO ME WHEN I WAS IN MY 20S, NOW YOU GET A LITTLE CONCERNED. OLDER YOU GET THE MORE CONSCIOUS YOU BECOME OF YOUR DIET AND EXERCISE. WHY? THERE’S PERSPECTIVE. YOUTH IS A GIFT WASTED ON THE YOUNG.
EXPLANATION 2- HAND SHOWS UP AND WORRY INFILTRATES THE PLACE. HERE’S ANOTHER WAY YOU KNOW YOU’RE LIVING FOR THE NOW AND NOT IN THE LIGHT OF ETERNITY- YOU ARE GRIPPED BY WORRY AND FEAR! YOU’RE FREAKING OUT OVER THINGS. THE TWINS OF STRESS AND ANXIETY MOVE IN.
EXPLANATION 3- IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL THIS, DANIEL SHOWS UP. HE’S AROUND 80 YEARS OF AGE. AND HERE’S WHAT IS SAID ABOUT HIM- A SPIRIT OF ONE OF THE gods IS IN HIM. HE’S NOT JUST DIFFERENT, BUT SUPERNATURALLY DIFFERENT. WHY? HE HAS PERSPECTIVE. HE TELLS THEM GOD HAS CRASHED THE PARTY AND THE PARTY IS NOW OVER. TO THE KING AND THE PARTICIPANTS THE WORLD HAS BECOME EVERYTHING, BUT TO DANIEL GOD IS EVERYTHING. THAT’S WHAT PERSPECTIVE DOES.
- BE FILLED WITH THE HS. . WALK IN THE SPIRIT. THE HS WAS GIVEN TO YOU AT SALVATION. THE THIRD PERSON OF THE TRINITY IS IN YOU, AND WHEN YOU SHOW UP IT SHOULD BE SAID OF YOU DIFFERENT! AND ONE OF THE WAYS WE KNOW THIS IS PEACE. DANIEL’S PROPHESY APPLIES TO HIM TOO. HE’S IN BABYLON. HE COULD PROBABLY DIE. BUT HE’S NOT PANICKED OR STRESSED, BECAUSE GOD IS EVERYTHING.
ILLUSTRATION- PASTOR AT ANGOLA WHO WAS THERE FOR 30 YEARS, JUST DENIED PAROLE UNJUSTLY BUT WORSHIPPING LIKE NO OTHER. HE SAID MAYBE GOD’S NOT THROUGH WITH ME HERE. DIFFERENT! A PROFOUND SENSE OF JOY! DIFFERENT!
PRINCIPLE 1- WHEN YOU ARE TRULY LIVING FOR ETERNITY, GOD BECOMES EVERYTHING.

STATUS IS NOTHING-

EXPLANATION: KING PROMISES GIFTS. DANIEL SAYS KEEP YOUR GIFTS. NOW HE’S ABOUT 80 YEARS OF AGE AND THIS IS BEYOND BLUNT AND A LITTLE DISRESPECTFUL, BUT I THINK YOU REACH A CERTAIN AGE IN LIFE WHEN YOU GET TO SAY WHAT YOU WANT. TIME DHATI VISITED PERKINS AND HE WAS IN HIS TIGHTY WHITIES.
EXPLANATION CONTINUED. NOW THINK ABOUT THE RIDICULOUSNESS OF IT ALL- BABYLON IS ABOUT TO BE NO MORE AND YOU WANT TO GIVE ME NICE CLOTHES, A GOLD CHAIN AND A PROMOTION? THESE ARE ALL STATUS SYMBOLS. PURPLE WORN ONLY BY THE BEST. ONLY THOSE WHO HAD THE KINGS PERMISSION COULD WEAR THE GOLD CHAIN. STATUS SYMBOLS. DANIEL IS RIGHT WHEN HE SAYS KEEP YOUR STUFF. HOW COULD HE SAY THIS? HE HAS PERSPECTIVE!
MARKUSS PERSSON ILLUSTRATION: CREATOR OF MINECRAFT VIDEO GAME. SOLD HIS COMPANY FOR 2.5 BILLION AND THEN SPENT 70 MILLION ON A MANSION AND THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS PARTYING AND HOBNOBBING WITH THE RICH. HERE’S WHAT HE SAID LOOKING BACK: “The problem with getting everything is you run out of reasons to keep trying. hanging out with a bunch of friends and partying with famous people, able to do whatever I want, and I have never felt more isolated”. FOLLOW UP WITH SOLOMON QUOTE FROM .
APPLICATION: I USED TO WANT THE THRILLER OUTFIT AND THE JEHRI CURL. STATUS. THAT’S ALL IT WAS. WHAT ABOUT YOU. SOME OF YOU HAD IT?
STUDY THE BIBLE AND THOSE WHO TRULY LIVED FOR ETERNITY CARED NOTHING ABOUT EARTHLY STATUS. JESUS WAS DESPISED AND REJECTED AND OKAY WITH THAT. 11 OF THE 12 DISCIPLES WERE SEEN AS IGNORANT MEN AND BANISHED. PAUL REFUSED TO BOAST IN ANYTHING OF THIS WORLD, BUT ONLY IN CHRIST!
PRINCIPLE 2: WHEN YOU ARE TRULY LIVING FOR ETERNITY, STATUS MEANS NOTHING.

FREED FROM PEOPLE PLEASING-

EXPLANATION: DANIEL TELLS THE TRUTH. STRAIGHT, NO CHASER. REMINDS HIM OF HIS GRANDFATHER’S ARROGANCE AND HOW GOD HUMBLED HIM. SAID HE KNEW ALL THAT BUT REFUSED TO WALK IN HUMILITY. NOW IT’S TOO LATE. UNPACK MENE, MENE TEKEL…HARD TRUTH.
PRINCIPLE 3: WHEN YOU ARE TRULY LIVING FOR ETERNITY YOU ARE FREED FROM PEOPLE PLEASING.
GOD IS BIG, PEOPLE ARE SMALL.
ILLUSTRATION: WHEN YOU GO TO THE DOCTOR AND HE RUNS THE TEST AND SHE FINDS SOMETHING LIFE THREATENING, SHE DOESN’T GO THIS IS GOING TO HURT HIS FEELINGS SO LET ME NOT SAY ANYTHING. THAT’S CRUEL. INSTEAD, MOTIVATED BY SOMETHING GREATER, YOUR LIFE, SHE TELLS YOU WHAT YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR. MY WIFE HANDS ME BREATH MINTS WHEN MY BREATH IS OFFENSIVE. I DON’T LIKE TO HEAR HER SAY THAT, BUT SHE’S MOTIVATED BY SOMETHING GREATER, HER WELL BEING!
GALATIANS ILLUSTRATION: PAUL SAYS SOME VERY HARD THINGS TO THESE PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN LIED TO, AND HAD BEEN TOLD SOME LIES ABOUT PAUL. . GOD IS BIG PEOPLE ARE SMALL.
CONVERSELY: WHEN THIS WORLD IS EVERYTHING, PEOPLE ARE BIG AND GOD IS SMALL.
GOSPEL CONCLUSION: MENE, MENE HAS BEEN SAID ABOUT ALL OF US. ALL OF OUR WORKS WILL BE PLAVED ON ONE SCALE, AND COMPARED TO GOD AND HIS MORAL STANDARD WE WILL ALL FALL SHORT! BUT FOR THE BELIEVER THAT’S NO PROBLEM. JESUS HAS STEPPED UP.
JUSSIE SMOLLET ILLUSTRATION. DISTRICT ATTORNEY DROPPED THE CHARGES. WHERE’S THE JUSTICE. THIS IS NOT THE GOSPEL. THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY, GOD, FILED THE CHARGE. WE ARE ALL GUILTY. NOT ONLY THAT WE WERE PRONOUNCED GUILTY, MENE, MENE. BUT JESUS STEPPED IN AND MADE UP THE DIFFERENCE.
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