Summary: Desperate houswives and the rest of us are searching for something to make our lives complete.


Mother’s Day, May 8, 2005

Luke 15:8-19

Thesis: Desperate housewives (along with the rest of us) are searching for something to make their lives complete.

Wisteria. It’s the name of a twisting vine with beautiful blossoms. Wisteria is known for its ability to climb high; yet unless it is kept under control it can become something that is both beautiful and destructive. Unless regularly pruned this vine has the power to destroy brick walls, choke the life out of oak trees and ruin gardens.

Unless kept in check, wisteria will destroy anything that it clings to and all the while it is destroying and killing it will be blossoming as beautifully as ever. No uniformed passerby would even suspect that something so delightful could actually be so deadly.

Wisteria Lane is, therefore, the appropriate address of the provocative women of television’s new controversial nighttime soap opera, Desperate Housewives. The show’s web page describes the drama as “a darkly comedic look at suburbia, where the secret lives of housewives aren’t always what they seem.”

On Wisteria Lane the twists of deception, murder, lust, suicide, gossip, adultery, secret cover-ups, envy, blackmail, and addictions all exist carefully hidden behind the flowery masks of picture perfect people. Just like wisteria, they are pretty to look, but deadly and destructive. Jesus used another image to describe such people – white washed walls. The Jews would white wash the walls of tombs so that no one would accidentally touch one and become ceremonially unclean. The tombs looked nice and neat on the outside, but on the inside they were still filled with dead men’s rotting corpses. Looks can indeed be deceiving.

On Wisteria Lane no one is satisfied or fulfilled. Although everyone is searching for happiness it somehow seems to elude them every time. With each failed attempt at happiness these women grow even more desperate.

Henry David Thoreau once said, “The mass of men [and women] lead quiet lives of desperation.” That is the premise upon which this new drama is based. Unfortunately, it is much more that just a premise. It is a reality. When we take a hard look at society today we quickly realize that Desperate Housewives is not that far out there. Turn on the nightly news and you will find something more interesting that any reality TV show or any new nighttime soap. You will find stories of runaway brides, pregnant mothers murdered by their husbands, and mothers killing their own offspring – Desperate Housewives indeed. You will also hear about missing DA’s, celebrity trials, and child molester’s on the loose – desperate children, desperate men, desperate Hollywood heroes.

Everyone it seems is desperate for something. And we don’t seem to be doing any better than the women of Wisteria Lane at finding the solution. Why? Because we are looking for all the wrong things in all the wrong places.

I believe that God brought you here today so that He could begin to show you how to find real peace and joy in life. I believe that God brought you here today so that He could begin to show what to look for and where to look for it.

I want to talk to you today about…

What to do when you are feeling desperate:

1. Recognize the reason for your desperation.

In our text for today we find a desperate housewife.

8aSuppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one.

In this parable Jesus tells the story of an everyday woman who loses something. In this case what she lost was a silver coin. Now you need to understand that we are not talking about a nickel or a dime here. A drachma was a Greek coin approximately equivalent to the Roman denarius, worth about an average days’s wages. Furthermore the fact that she only has ten of them tells us that she has only a limited savings and now she has lost 10% of it. As far as we know this was all she had. Imagine how you would be feeling if you accidentally misplaced 10% of your total assets. Does the word “desperation” come to mind? I should think so!

How did this woman lose her coin? We are not told. Maybe she was careless and missed placed it. Maybe she was clumsy and dropped it. Maybe she was cautious and hid it away so well that she couldn’t find it herself. (We’ve all done that before haven’t we?) The point is that how she may have lost it is irrelevant.

The point is that she has lost it and she knows that she has lost it. And quite frankly that puts her ahead of the game when compared with many people today. Many people have lost it, but they don’t realize they have.

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