Summary: This sermon will address the attitude with which we “wait” and “watch”. It is with faith, confidence, readiness. It is not with fear, trembling, anxiety!
Why Christmas Is a Big Deal:
Faith, not Fear
Scripture Text: Luke 21.25-36
Since 9-11, I have-flown only two-times. Before 9-11, my wife and I loved-to-fly. It was almost-like-a-high: to check-the-bags and board-the-plane, …to feel the thrust of the plane as it rushed-down the runway, …to feel the pull-against-your-body as the plane lunged-upward into the thin-air, …and to-watch the clouds floating-peacefully beneath the wings of the plane.
Oh, I still enjoy the actual-experience of flying: …looking-down at the patchwork of greens-and-browns, …stained with silver lakes, …laced with ribbons of highways-and-rivers; …and I still-imagine stepping-out on the clouds, …and riding-them like a puffy, pillow-surfboard!
Something’s-changed to make the whole-experience of getting-on-a-plane a distasteful-thing!... Not the actual-flying ~ …But the process of arriving-at-the-airport, …and making your-way-through the obstacles-and checkpoints before you even-get-on the plane! It starts at the ticket-counter, with agents that seem-to-have-gotten-up on the wrong-side of the universe; …then, the threat-of-a forced-strip-tease before you can go-down-the-terminal ~ …take off yours shoes, …and your belt, …empty your pockets, …flip on your electronic devices to prove they are not a ticking-time-bomb ~ …and, don’t-forget: …don’t carry shampoo, …or an extra bottle-of-water ~ …’cause that’s reason-for-suspicion! The whole-thing makes my-stomach knot-up!... “Anxiety” is a good-word for it!
Of course, it’s all for the sake of “safety” ~ …’cause we live in a day-and-time of unimaginable evil; …but, it really makes me wonder whether it’s worth-it! If the stress-and-pressure that go-along-with getting on-a-plane, ..whether it’s worth flying!?! I’d just-as-soon stay-home, …or, better-yet, …take a road-trip, …instead-of risking an involuntary pat-down!
I even-read this-week about a new device they are testing. This new-instrument will measure stress-and-anxiety levels in-a-person. It works similar-to a lie-detector, …except that you don’t-have-to get “hooked-up”; …you just pass-through this magical-measurement ‘thing-a-hoo’, …and it measures skin-temperature …and involuntary muscle-twitches, …and rapid-eye-movement, …and heart-rate to determine whether you’re experiencing heightened-anxiety ~ …presumably to identify possible-terrorists.
I-guess somebody needs-to-tell-them, …Nearly-everyone who takes-off their belt-and-shoes in front of strangers, …Nearly-everyone who empties their pockets and worries-about being pulled-aside for a random “strip-search” ~ …We all have a “heightened-level” of stress-and-anxiety!... This new-machine is going to be chiming-and ringing faster-than the bell-ringer at a Salvation-Army kettle outside of Wal-Mart!