Summary: A sermon about rejoicing in how God uses us.
How many of you are, as Mary Poppins described herself, “Practically perfect in every way?”
How many of your friends or the people you love the most, care about the most and have been most touched and influenced by are “practically perfect in every way?”
My guess is…none.
Of course, what is practically perfect?
There are people whom I enjoy being in their company for the sheer fact that they are “themselves.”
And by that, I mean that they might act “goofy” or “silly” without worrying about how they are perceived.
A couple weeks ago, some of our Youth were out in the parking lot.
And being a silly goof myself, I ran up to them and said something to the effect, “Now that you guys have graduated from high school, I’m not sure I feel ‘cool enough to stand here with you.’”
To that, they laughed and then replied, “Don’t worry, we aren’t very ‘cool.’”
Now that IS cool!!!
God created us all with different personality traits and dispositions.
Think about some of the people you love the most, are closest to.
Perhaps they can be a bit flaky at times, but isn’t that one of the characteristics that make them who they are?
Deep down, isn’t that one of the things that makes you love them even more?
Would you really want to change that trait?
Perhaps someone you love has a “funny” and “unique” laugh.
Isn’t that one of the things that you love about them?
Maybe a close friend or loved one can even be a bit bossy at times…
…you might rather that they tone it down a bit, but if it is just a part of the loving person they are, would you really want to take that away?
Wouldn’t you kind of miss it?
When I was growing up we had a Siamese cat.
And for anyone who is familiar with Siamese cats, you know that they can be very loving and fun, but they also have major attitudes.
They don’t take things lying down.
They stand up for themselves.
For example, as a young boy, I always had cat scratches up and down my arms because our Siamese would not allow me to hold her upside down by the tail without a fight.
Or if she just didn’t happen to be in the mood for some very innocent and mellow play, she would let me know with a bite or a scratch.
When it came time for our 17 year old Siamese cat to be put to sleep, my mom was the one who took her to the vet.
Those experiences are always difficult.
But I remember my mother coming home from the vet and reporting that she was happy that our cat bit the vet as he was trying to move her.
To the very end, our Siamese was who she was.
And we loved that about her, even if it was a bit trying at times.
I believe that one of the big puzzles of life is to learn to accept and even appreciate our idiosyncrisies, and especially those of others.
Some of the things I love and enjoy most about others is their willingness and ability to “be themselves.”
Now, this “willingness” and “ability” to be and accept ourselves as God created us, does not mean that we revel in some self-destructive behavior or things that hurt ourselves and others.
It means, that as Christians, as people who are loved by God and love God, we accept that we all have things that remind us and others that we are simply human, and therefore, we must trust in God completely for all we are and all we have!!!
There is a story about a man who served as the British Ambassador to the United States at a time when the Cold War was just beginning.
And as Ambassador, he was often in touch, on a daily basis, with the President and Prime Minister on the other side of the Atlantic.
A lot of times he needed to get urgent, important and top secret messages back and forth between Washington and London.
And, at this time, it was far too risky to make telephone calls; the line was almost always bugged.
They had this diplomatic bag which went to and fro each day, and that was what he used much of the time.
But when something was really confidential, utterly and completely top secret and desperately urgent, he wouldn’t take the chance of using the bag that everyone knew was important.
Instead, he would put the message in an ordinary envelop and send it through the regular mail.
In our Scripture passage for tonight, Paul says that God has decided to put the most urgent and important message of all time…