Summary: An introductory "book sermon" covering the first four verses of the epistle.
TYPE: Expository, Diamond, Book Sermon
SCRIPTURE READING: Psalm 110
DOMINANT THOUGHT: We can have a better life if we respond to the message of God’s heart through the expression of his one and only Son.
- Head: The people will understand seven of the qualities of Jesus and see the argument the writer of Hebrews makes that the Christian life is superior to any other.
- Heart: The people will feel privileged to have been offered a better life through Jesus.
- Hands: The people will take a more active role in hearing what Jesus has to say by spending time with him through his word, meditation, and prayer.
[Kids’ Korner: Have the young children compete for a prize with a math quiz. Give them one minute to complete as many simple math problems as possible. Tell them to turn the paper over, read the directions, and solve the problems. The math problems have standard symbols (+. -. etc.), but they have different meanings. Only those who read the directions and carefully analyze the problems will be able to correctly solve them. The object lesson is that it is hard for us to know what to do if we do not spend the time necessary to learn about what we are doing. How do we know what God wants us to do? (By spending time in his Word.)]
A lot of times you read the news these days and just get downright depressed. Whether it’s financial crises, political corruption, an immoral society, or incomprehensible violence, we generally get more than what we bargain for.
For instance, did any of you read about the latest bumble by law enforcement? Out in Los Angeles the L.A.P.D. brought two years of undercover work to culmination, busting a fraudulent psychic hotline outfit that was stealing identities and wracking up huge shopping sprees on stolen credit card numbers. Apparently the mastermind behind the operation was vertically challenged. Literally, the head honcho was a midget. Even though he was vertically challenged, he found a way to be upwardly mobile.
Here’s where it gets even whackier. Apparently, the police didn’t have handcuffs small enough to keep this guy secured, and while they were transporting him to the jail, he managed to slip out of the cuffs, jimmy the door open, and make his escape.
You all haven’t heard about that? You couldn’t miss the headlines—SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE/
That’s not really the kind of medium I want to talk about today. Then again, maybe it is. After all, so-called psychics get the title “medium” because they supposedly serve as a channel of communication between one world and another.
That’s what medium stands for—something in between two other parties. That’s why a medium size, is well, medium-sized—it’s in between something small and something large. Being the go-between, a medium serves a form of communication. That’s why we call newspapers, radio, television, and the Internet media sources. “Media,” of course, the plural of medium.
I first learned about the word medium when I became interested in art back in high school. Artists work with several types of media—some work with graphite (what the rest of us would call pencils), others work with pastels, watercolors, or oils. Some work with stone, others with clay, and still others with wood, metal or photography. What is important to remember about a medium in this sense is that it is the vehicle, the means by which an artist expresses himself to his audience. A work of art is not a work of art simply because it looks pretty; it is a work of art because the artist has conveyed something of himself or herself through the work.
Sometimes what the artist is trying to convey through his or her work of art is more obvious than at other times. For example, with Picasso’s Guernica, it is obvious to see the horror and suffering of war, especially to those who are non-combatants. But then there’s Jackson Pollock’s The Key. And try as I might, I don’t know what the key is, or what it’s supposed to unlock.
And sometimes the kind of medium that is used makes it easier to understand the message the artist is trying to convey. Look at the difference between Alexander Calder’s The Star and Rembrandt’s David Presenting the Head of Goliath to King Saul. The message of one is somewhat vague and amorphous, but there is no mistaking the meaning of the other.
This morning I want to talk about an artist, the greatest artist the world has ever known. You find his masterpieces in every corner of the galaxy. I want to talk about the kind of media that he has used, and what he has tried to convey to us through that media. This artist’s name is God.