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In Disney's thirty-ninth animated film, "The Emperor's New Groove," self-proclaimed "King of the World" Kuzco (COOS-coh), who had an evil female advisor named Yzma (EEZ-muh), made plans to demolish an entire village to build a new water park. At the highest point of the village he planned on building his new summer home, Kuzcotopia. This was all to be done as a birthday present to himself on his eighteenth birthday.

The plot of ground on which Kuzcotopia was to be built belonged to a lowly llama herder named Pacha. Pacha and his family had lived on that hill for many years, and Pacha had no desire to sell his land; that's when Kuzco informed Pacha that his intention was not to pay for it but to simply take it for his own. Pacha was supposed to view it as a charitable contribution to the Emperor. Pacha denied Kuzco the land, and Kuzco envied it with a passion.

This sounds like a story straight out of the Bible; a story where a king, along with his evil female advisor, desired a new plot of ground. The piece of real estate desired by the king in our passage of Scripture for today was a vineyard or a "grove" of grapes; therefore, I have entitled our message "The Emperor's New Grove." This sermon will address the topic of the slippery slope of envy, or the downward spiral of coveting. If you have ever seen the Disney cartoon, then you will be surprised to discover just how similar the story sounds to our Bible passage.

This morning we looked at the downward spiral of coveting, and we learned that desire leads to coveting, and coveting leads to sin, and that there is a price to pay for sin. Most importantly we learned that the penalty for sin can be forgiven through our faith in Jesus Christ and acceptance of Him as our Lord and Savior who laid down His life for us.

In "The Emperor's New Groove," Kuzco's hard heart was eventually softened and his life was changed, and that's when he got his new groove on. You too can have a new groove and see your life changed if you will accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. 2 Corinthians 6:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

(From a sermon by Damian Phillips, The Emperor's New Grove, 8/13/2012)

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