Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Goofy & Cracked

A couple years ago, as a part of a youth teaching lesson, I bought and gave away cups with goofy faces on them. Today I was using a left over one as I was getting ready to teach.

We're moving from lessons about God the Father and God the Son to a focus on God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes into sinners and makes us valuable. So I hit the cup with a hammer, taped up the pieces, and put cash into it as illustration.

In just three weeks we'll invite imperfect, broken people to share their faith stories. We don't boast or brag about ourselves, but only of what God has done for us and in us, though in this fallen world we will always be sinners. As it says in Second Corinthians 4:5,7 --
...We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake... But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
God chooses to fill all sorts of people with his love. All he asks of us is to admit our unworthiness as we open ourselves to his Word and Spirit. It's my prayer that we would be honest before the Lord and allow him to make a difference in our lives.

Using cash as an analogy for Christ was a poor illustration. But the cracked and goofy cup is a very good picture of me and every one that the Lord chooses to bless in this life. As the Apostle Paul, who admitted to being the "worst of sinners" said, "I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me... for whenever I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Cor. 12:9-10) and "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord... I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ" (Phil 3:8).

During the lesson tonight, I handed out little slips of paper. I asked the youth to write the name of an adult or older youth--someone they would like to hear share a faith story during Lent. I'll be asking the same of those who come to church this Sunday. I hope some of those who are asked will say yes to sharing their weak and vulnerable selves. In that way Christ, and Christ alone, will be glorified in our church.


to hear the testimonies that resulted go to

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