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Summary: Sermon 2 in a series of 4 sermons reflecting on Paul’s favorite description of the Church as the Body of Christ. This message focuses on the support and commitment members have for one another.

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CHRISTIAN A & P 101: SUPPORT

Ephesians 4: 1-16

1. I found the following story on the Internet.

For my 50th birthday, my husband purchased a week of personal training . . . at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since playing on my high school softball team, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer called Bruce, who identified himself as a 26 year old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. My husband seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started. The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.

MONDAY: Started my day at 6:00am. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Bruce waiting for me. He is something of a Greek God - with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Bruce gave me a tour and showed me the machines. He took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. He was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I attribute it to standing next to him in his Lycra aerobic outfit. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring. Bruce was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!

TUESDAY: I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Bruce made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air - then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Bruce’s rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!! It’s a whole new life for me.

WEDNESDAY: The only way I can brush my teeth is by lying on the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn’t try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Bruce was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Bruce put me on the stair monster. Why on earth would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Bruce told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other junk too.

THURSDAY: Bruce was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn’t help being a half an hour late, it took me that long just to tie my shoes. Bruce took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the men’s room. He sent Lars to find me, then, as punishment, put me on the rowing machine - which I sank.

FRIDAY: I hate that so-and-so Bruce more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world! Stupid, skinny, anemic little cheerleader wanna-be. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him with it. Bruce wanted me to work on my triceps. I don’t have any triceps! And if you don’t want dents in the floor, don’t hand me the stupid barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. (Which I am sure you learned in the sadist school you attended and graduated magna cum laude from, you Nazi.) The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn’t it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?


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