Friday, December 24, 2010

The Gospel According to Jack Skellington

Originally posted on 12/24/08:

This is the sermon I gave at both services. I hope you all enjoy it.

Good morning. I want to start by thanking P.Dave, and all of you, for the confidence to trust me with today's message. I'll try not to disappoint you.

As P.Dave mentioned, the title of today's sermon is The Gospel According to Jack. So, allow me to introduce all of you to Jack.

I don't suppose I have to tell anyone that Jack Skellington isn't really an apostle. But I still think we can learn something from the story he tells.
As I'm sure you've all noticed, Jack lives in a rather dark and colorless world. it's a place of fright and gloom. But since this is normal for his world, nobody ever considers that something might be amiss. Yet, for some odd reason, Jack knows that there is.
It's kinda like our own world. We live in a world full of crime and injustice. We have poor and needy everywhere. And we have sickness and disease. So we're never really surprised to hear about these things happening in our world, whether it be to someone around the corner, or someone on the other side of the world. We've gotten used to hearing about these things. But still, we know that our world shouldn't be like this. And Jack knows that's true, too.
You see, Jack wonders about it since he sees something wrong in his own life. He tells us in his song that he knows that he's the very best at what it is that he does. And what he does is scare people. Well, in a dark and dismal world of perpetual Halloween, this is normal. But in spite of being the very best at what he does, Jack is not satisfied with his life. In spite of all of the fame and the praise of all his peers, Jack is unfulfilled. He is longing for something more. That's what he's searching for. And he's about to stumble upon something.

Jack has discovered Christmas!
In his wanderings Jack has stumbled upon Christmas. It's a world of bright lights and dazzling colors. And Jack suddenly feels something inside that he's been missing for more years than he can recall. It invigorates him, and excites him. So much so that he decides to take over. He kidnaps Santa Claus and tries to take his place for the year. But Jack isn't Santa, so the whole thing turns into a fiasco.
Sounds like a lot of us, doesn't it? We try our best to do everything we can, in our own power, only to watch things fall apart at the seams. And even when we let God have control of our situations, we can't resist trying to make things work out by ourselves.
We have this tendancy to forget that while God is always willing to use us, when we're willing to be used, He doesn't actually allow us to do anything. He will work in others who are near us, He will work in circumstances around us, and He will do things through us. But we have to remember that He is the one doing the work - we are simply the tool. And like most tools, we are meant for specific jobs, specific purposes. And when we don't pay attention to what God wants to use us for, and we try to go it alone, things go wrong. When we try to do the job on our own, it never works out.

You see, Jack was trying to be Santa Claus, trying to do Santa's job. But Jack is no Santa Claus, so he failed at it, and miserably so. He left Christmas in ruins for children everywhere. Then he finally comes to the realization that there's only one who can really fix the mess that he's made.

Jack has finally come to his senses that Christmas isn't his thing. Scaring people is what he does, and he's good at it. But Christmas belongs to Santa. And, since Santa - being a character based upon a real saint - is a representation of Christ, we see that only Santa can fix the mess that Jack has made. And that is us all over. Or, at least, that's me all over
I'm reminded of one of my favorite passages of scripture; Romans 7:21-25

"I have discovered this principle of life - that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another power within me at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is; In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin."

Sometimes we forget Who we serve, and we make mistakes. I know that there is a calling on my life. I know I serve some greater purpose in God's plan. But it certainly isn't to be a pastor. But I'm thankful that P.Dave recognizes my calling, and my ability to have something worth sharing every once in awhile. And as long as I'm walking in that purpose, and allowing God to work through me, God will watch out for me. It's when I try to take matters into my own hands that things get messy.
But it's OK to mess up once in awhile. We're all bound to do it. But thank God that when we do mess up, He's always there waiting to fix things for us.

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Blogger Jeff A said...

That is awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that, and thank you for listening to God and letting Him work through you.

12:14 AM  
Blogger studiopaula said...

You know, if I didn't know any better I'd swear God made you just for me... Oh yea... He did!!!

10:16 PM  
Blogger studiopaula said...

And I'm so glad to finally have you!

10:17 PM  

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