Summary: Encourages worshipers to not be ashamed or reluctant to display their faith publically
Do you know that today is a special Sunday? Every Sunday is special but today is most especially special because it is congregation participation Sunday. I want to know who in the early service told you what was coming. Today we’ve seen some things, we’ve seen some very small children display their faith in God they rang bells, sang songs, they played catch with Alan, what an honor! And this morning we are going to have three more people, Amanda Swanson, Teresa Swanson and Tiffany Barnhardt come up and lead us in a song. They are going to display their faith in front of people. Now when you are 13,14, 15 or any age and you¡¦ve got to stand up in front of your parents, your parents friends, your Pastors and (pause) Miss Wanda!!! And you have to display your faith its pretty nerve wracking isn¡¦t it? I can tell you for a fact that it is a bit nerve wracking! And so these ladies are going to sing us a song. You will find the words to the song on your orange sheet. Now be obedient children and take your orange sheet out. O.K. We¡¦re gonna spot you the first time through because you may not know this tune. The ladies are gonna sing it, it¡¦s very few words, it¡¦s a catchy tune. But then it¡¦s, Congregational Participation Day! You are going to join them. We will sing it three or four times through but let your heart go, show God you love him by singing this song. Please stand and help these girls sing. Show our love to God,
(song) "Becoming More Undignified Than This"
(at end of song) Lets all give God a great big hand. I know some of you who are life long Methodists may have thought that was a bit strange but, God loves us anyway!
Illustration -- Recently I went to one of the finer eating institutions in our area. As we pulled into the parking lot of the local pizza restaurant (pause), we noticed an abnormality. There was an over abundance of mini vans in the parking lot, and this long white van with big letters on it. I am sure you all are familiar with it, it said church bus. You all know what that means right? It means youth group inside beware! Loving youth groups as I do, I went inside anyway and stood next to the Please wait to be seated sign and the server came up and asked, "Do you want to be seated"? I assured her I did. Now this restaurant was over half-full with very loud teenagers, Youth Group people and they had shirts on that said, ¡§Jesus loves me¡¨, ¡§Jesus saves¡¨ and all kinds of other slogans, some that people wish they didn¡¦t have on their shirt!. They were noisy and as we were going to our table the server is apologizing for the noise and the church Youth Group. She’s just sorry there isn¡¦t a quieter place to sit. She sits us right at the end of the tables where the youth are. I was sharing wonderful conversation with my dinner guest and the food came for the youth group, they were setting it down and there were several adults with this youth group. One adult stands up and he tries to get the attention of the Youth Group. Now anybody who’s been with a youth group understands how hard that can be right? So there was a lot of this, Ssshhhh, shh, shh, shh and stuff going on. Well eventually he gets them to quiet down and, praise God he asked a blessing over the food! Amen to that! Isn¡¦t that wonderful to be out in public and display your faith? But what I didn¡¦t understand is, he is way up at one end of the tables and I¡¦m way at the other end of the tables, he asks the blessing for the food and he is just barely above a whisper. (lowered voice to a whisper) ¡§Dear God we are thankful you provide food for us¡¨.
What is the deal with the whispering stuff? Do you suppose the rest of the people in the restaurant didn¡¦t know they were Christians? Perhaps they couldn¡¦t read the side of the bus! I don¡¦t understand, now I¡¦m not asking for the man to shout. But he set his life apart, set it aside to be an example to these young people. We send our youth director out on a regular basis to do the same thing. And when it came time publicly to display his faith to those young people, he hesitated. He pulled back, he was just a little bit shy.
You know at some point in our faith journey we all, me included, me especially, act just like that group director. Some times God provides an opportunity for us to display our love, our joy in him and we hold back (cringing with lowered voice) ¡§yes I¡¦m a Christian¡¨. We hold back, we get concerned about what others might think. What they might say if we shout, we dance and we sing for God, for our joy. You know the words these three young ladies led us in, they come out of scripture. That¡¦s a story out of the life of King David. We are going to share that story this morning, but before I can jump into 2 Samuel chapter 6, you want to put your finger there. There is pew bible if you did not bring your own. But before we jump into that story I’ve gotta catch you up on King David. You may not be in a devotional of first and second Samuel. So let me tell you what is happening in David¡¦s life. First of all we have the first king of Israel which is Saul. He was chosen by God, he¡¦s a head taller than everybody, something I always wished I could be, and he is king for a while, things have gone well and then what happens to Saul? He disobeyed God didn¡¦t he? So God tells him through Samuel I am going to remove the kingship from you. I¡¦m gonna give it to another. And God sends out Samuel, he says go to the house of Jesse. And he gets to the house of Jesse, Jesse parades all his sons in front of Samuel. Samuel says no not this one not that one not this one. Then he looks at Jesse and sys don¡¦t you have any more sons? God told me he was going to pick one of your sons to be king. Jesse¡¦s answer was well I got that there runt out therein the field watching the sheep surely can¡¦t want him. Samuel said bring him, and we all know that story, David came in and in front of his brother, his father and the priest of God he was anointed with oil to be king of Israel. As you know as it is often with God, he don¡¦t give us a timetable as for when that promise is going to come true. David didn¡¦t have a coronation date. Three weeks from Monday you show up I am coming. He didn¡¦t have that all he had was a promise. So Saul is still king and he runs around and he¡¦s king and they are fighting wars he gets into a battle with the Philistines and the Philistines are on one side of the valley and Israelites on the other side of the valley and who comes in the middle? Goliath! Here he comes. (imitate a fierce wrestler) Oh Israel I¡¦m Goliath who are you gonna send out and fight me. Send out a man and if he slays me then we will serve you as your slaves. Forty days he came out and made this taunt. Not one Israelite went out to answer the challenge. And then one day, one day Jesse sends David on a snack run, or something with the mail, or to see his brothers who were in the army of Saul. When David gets there he must have been in the back of the line or something, with all the other soldiers in front of him. He must not have been able to see over their heads because when Goliath was out making his challenge David asked, ¡¨Why is no body going out there to fight him?¡¨ His brothers said, ¡¨you see that guy?¡¨ We ain¡¦t going out there. But, we know the story we know that David went out with his sling shot with the Lord and he sleuth Goliath. And in so slaying Goliath that endeared him in the heart of Saul. He brought him into his courtyard and he would play music for Saul. Now they had a custom, they had a habit and I suppose at some level we have that habit today. Where after big battles and great victories they made up songs and if you listen to country music at all now you’ve heard a couple of songs about September 11 and the war in Iraq and things like that. So the ladies made up this song and I’m no singer but I will attempt to convey the meaning to you. "There is Saul, he has slain his thousands and glory be to David who has slain his tens of thousands." You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out who got top billing there do you? It wasn’t Saul. Saul got it into his head that David was a threat to his kingdom, remember God had told him "I’m gonna take that kingship from you". And so Saul on a couple of occasions tried to pin David to the wall of the palace with a spear, but David was too quick for him. So Saul came up with another plan. He heard that his daughter, Michal, loved David. So he made a pact, he put out a proclamation to any man who will slay 100 of my enemies I will give my daughters hand in marriage. Well David gathered up his many and went out an slew 200 Philistines and Michal was given to him in marriage. So now we pick up with our scripture 2