Summary: This is the beginning of our summer series on Hebrews chapter 11, we are using the Theme No Ordinary Family to tie it all together.
No Ordinary Family 1
The Fundamentals of Faith
Every Story has a beginning and this is it. Earlier this year one of my Sunday messages was based in Hebrews 11 and as the scripture was being read I thought to myself, “wow, that was no ordinary family.” And because I have a one track mind my next thought was “that would make a good sermon series.” Which is a pretty good leap because although I knew there was a television show on ABC called “No ordinary Family” I had never actually seen it.
Anyone here fans of the show? Anyone here ever watched the show? Which is probably why the show was cancelled the end of May at the end of the first season. So much for being relevant, but the series had already been planned and the art work and media finished.
So, the premise of the show is this, the Powells were in fact an ordinary family. Jim, the dad was an artist for the police department of an unnamed Southern California city while his wife Stephanie was a scientist working on genetic research for a large company called Global Tech. The Powells had two teen children who dealt with the same types of issues that teens everywhere deal with. 16 year old Daphne was trying to be more popular while her 14 year old brother JJ struggled with a bit of a learning disability.
Just an ordinary family, up to the point that the family joined Stephanie on a research trip to Brazil where the small plane they were flying on crashed into river during a thunder storm. You still with me?
The good news is that they survived the crash and returned home with a great story to tell. And that’s where the story gets interesting and the Powells become “No ordinary family.” Because of some mysterious element that was in the river in Brazil, presumably combined with the electrical charge in the air from the thunder storm the Powells are given super powers. That never happens to me, I crash in a river I get wet, I get bit by a spider I end up with a spider bite. Know what I mean?
So Jim ends up super strong. Stephanie becomes incredibly fast with a super-fast metabolism . Daphne gets the ability to read the minds of those around her while JJ becomes ubersmart. And with those powers come opportunities and challenges. I love this promo shot for the show, the tagline says “New Powers! Instructions not included”
So now that you are familiar with the TV show you are probably wondering “what does that have to do with Hebrews chapter 11? And how are you going to stretch this thing out for the entire summer. Glad you asked.
Every story has a beginning and this is it. Hebrews 11:1-2 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. This is the introduction to the 11th chapter of the book of Hebrews. And for the next 39 verses the writer tells us about these people of old and how they earned their good reputation, he tells us about Enok, Abraham, Sarah, Noah, Abel and a host of others too numerous to name and when he get’s through regaling us with their stories he ties everything together by saying Hebrews 11:39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith . . .
I think it would be fair to say that the men and women that are written about in Hebrews Chapter 11 were “No Ordinary Family”
So the first thing we need to note is that They Were Family In the case of our television heroes the premise is that there were indeed family. Collins English Dictionary defines family a couple of different ways. 1) A social unit consisting of parents and their children, the children of the same parents. 2) A group of people related by ancestry or marriage 3) All the people living in the same house. And the Powells were a Mother, father and two children. In this day of what does or doesn’t constitute a family the Powell’s are almost old fashion. Two people married to each other and two children who share both parents. And they have all the struggles of being a family in today’s world. Too many things to do at times and not enough time to do it, the knowledge that somehow they need to connect but not sure how to make that connection happened. The tension between work and family, between parents and children and between husband and wife.
They are just a family, a group of people connected through their DNA.