Summary: Theme: Jesus, Friend of the Weary
Title: Faith, Hope and Love
Text: 1 Corinthians 13
Theme: Jesus, Friend of the weary
Place: La Carlota Evangelical Church
Time: 9:30 am, September 10, 2000
Thank you for your prayers while I was in Bangkok. It was a great learning experience for me as a Filipino Christian being with people from 7 different countries is Asia. I learned a lot in terms of understanding the different contexts and situations wherein a Christian must live.
Mother Teresa once said and I quote “the poorest of the poor are those who feel that they are unloved.”
Some of us here are living in poverty in the sense of what Mother Teresa said. These unloved people feel that they are neglected by their families, rejected by society and despised by their friends. They feel that life has nothing good to offer them. They become outcasts in a sense that they are not accepted as who they are. They are just merely existing in order to be alive but not living a meaningful life.
Before I continue, let me first change the ‘they’ to ‘we’ so as to include every one of us.
Because of these feelings of weariness, we sometimes resulted to many diversions and cover-ups. We became violent and just started hating everybody around us. We rebel against the standards and norms of society thus becoming deviants and a menace to our government. We get involve in vices and make ourselves addictive in many ways.
We hide our reality by using illegal drugs, we poison our body with alcohol and nicotine, we engrossed ourselves in books and used all our time in playing video games. By using the Internet, we use nicknames and pseudonyms to hide our identity and pretend we are someone else.
Oftentimes we would say that it is unfortunate that we were born into this world. We blame our existence.
Religion is no exception to the addiction I mentioned. Karl Marx once said that ‘religion is the opium of the masses.’ I agree to what he said because we think that by having a religion our life will become worthwhile or by going to church we will have instant answers to life’s difficult questions. The church is being used as a drug in order to create an illusion.
Every one of us wants to have instant solutions to every problem. We get instant satisfaction when we are high in drugs. We get instant gratification when we are intoxicated by alcohol. We get instant relaxation when there is nicotine in our brains. We inject chemical in our bodies in order to feel good. We are transferred into a world of fantasy when we play video games, a world wherein we are in control and we are the master of every situation. By just a click we can become heroes, kings or champions.
But in our quite and solitude times when we have the time to ask questions and reflect about our life, we come into a conclusion that there are no instant solutions to our disturbing realities, we felt tired and weary by hiding behind all these cover-ups, illusions and fantasies. We often promised ourselves after these reflections that we will do good the next time, that we must try harder in order to make life meaningful. Some of us after this cycle would be successful in keeping the promises we made to ourselves and managed to got out from our hiding places but…this is again a big but…some of us got tempted again and began the cycle of hide and seek.
We are getting weary to this cycle of hiding in a mask and trying to find ourselves. Some of us here might be in that state of being the in the lowest now, some of us here are maybe making promises to ourselves to be better next time and some of us here are now accomplishing what he had promised to himself. Each and every one of us are in this process.
To put our theme into a question, we may ask: how can I be a friend to the weary or much better we should ask ourselves: how can I be a friend to myself who is also weary?
I am not proposing here instant solutions to bail ourselves out from this cycle of ups and downs but what I would like to share to you is on what the Bible is teaching us wherever we are in this cycle.
The delegates from Hong Kong, we called them Hong Kong sisters and Hong Kong brother presented the problems that the youths are facing in their country and after which they made a proposal. At the end of their presentation, on the last acetate paper, they put these words: faith, hope and love.
These are the three virtues that I would like to share to you this morning.