Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sermon: Romans 8:18-30 - Searching for a Better Reality.

Text is Romans 8:18-30.

Let me guess something about you. (I can guess this about you because I know it in me):

Some time in the last week, you’ve daydreamed of simply ‘getting out of here’. You've daydreamed of finding a better reality than you currently have; or of how you can organize yourself to have less pain; or you’ve wondered what you can purchase to make your world a little better.

It’s in the our condition to yearn for a better reality than we currently have.

So when we meet a genuinely contented person, we are surprised - That person is seems like a glitch in the system.

You know someone who’s on a weekend getaway; you’ve checked the internet for travel destinations; maybe you just want to get away from responsibility. So you think about what new work you’d like to do.

Maybe it’s about the city. Your apartment is too small; too expensive; too noisy; too hot. You can’t get up the stairs (if you are in a walk-up); you can’t get the Super on the line (if the elevator is not working); the neighbors are disruptive; and the landlord is a crook. And you wonder if I just got out of the city, then you’d be happy.

‘Getting out of here’ rarely makes the human soul content. For the fact is: YOU always take YOU with you. And YOU take YOU to another part of the WORLD that is ALSO subject to futility.

Or maybe you are tired of being at your Church, you are tired of serving at Church, or volunteering again in service; or you are tired of church not being what you want it to be. So if I try that other church, then maybe I’ll find my ‘home’.

Maybe you are unmarried and you want to be.
Or maybe you’re married and you don’t want to be anymore.

Maybe you don’t have kids, and you would like them.
Or maybe you do have kids, and you would give anything to have a break from them.

So you think to yourself:
  • Will I always be want things to be different?
  • Will I always want more?
  • Will I always be unsatisfied?
  • Will I always be perpetually seeking a better reality?
Only to find the better reality wasn’t really what I wanted, so I then go to seek... a better reality. And when someone tells you that you are in a cycle, (which is obvious) you get upset...

...Because you can’t think of living any.other.way.

Now let me say straight up on the authority of God himself -- the Bible does not say that this yearning is wrong. Far from it. The Bible simply requires that we locate those yearnings in the right place.

Pic from Post Secret.


Sam said...

Woah, I am a bit freaked out here as you are most definitely talking about me! I am 33, I have my own house and a great job....while I might not dream about running away from home every day I certainly think about it.

I need to listen to that sermon, but unfortunately I need it to be transcribed as I am deaf - I don't suppose you'd have a copy would you? (or have I misunderstood and the audio is just the spoken version of Romans 8:18-30?)

Ali said...

Thanks Justin. I read and I listened! (Well, I tried, around an evacuation alarm test and other things.) Everyday I walk past the concrete works on the way to work, wondering how life ended up as this, and I daydream ... Slowly but surely I am learning that changing circumstances changes nothing.

Justin said...

Ali -- thanks for listening.

And Sam -- thanks for being prepared to read. You can download the sermon here (as a PDF).

There was a little more said that this on the day. But this is most of it.

Sam said...

Thank you Justin - I am now writing something about all of this on my own blog!

Jim said...

My fav part:

"So my ONE question this morning is..."

.....and then you go on to ask 3 questions :)

I loved listening and following along with your transcript. Was very helpful for myself. I know understand why you format your sermons the way you do!

Justin said...

lol Jim.

But they are really all the one question, right?

Jim said...

Noted :)

MLK1973 said...

Thanks Justin! I'm by myself at work today am able to listen to this sermon while I sit here. It was much appreciated for this little rough patch I'm experiencing. I forgot how much I love the concept and reality of hope.

Justin said...

MLK1973 -- Hope is life. Let us know how we can pray for you'all.