Summary: Jesus would have us to receive and live a life of abundance for which he came to give humanity.

"Get A Life": John 1:1-14

- Rev. Antonio L. Torrence, Pastor of Cross of Life Lutheran Church

The philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, once said that most of us 'lead lives of quiet desperation." It would seem that Thoreau is right. Many of us are in the land of the living but our lives are not testimonies that we are living large.

A glance at our society would show us that things are not going well. The legal sector would show growing divorce rates. Media would depict increased child abuse and drug abuse. We would see an explosion of teen -age pregnancies, gangs prowling on our streets, and police patrolling our high schools. Our prisons are testimonies to increased crime, systemic violence, and judicial discrimination. Even the air we breathe is certified as polluted while our food contains many cancer-causing agents. And don't forget the nightmare of AIDS, Cancer, MS and TB. Things in our natural life seem to be going bad. We are living lives of quiet desperation -- Secret lives, doubles lives, sheltered lives, and lives of hard knocks. We are in the land of the living but we are not living large.

Many of us are living an imitation of life. We are trying to imitate the lives of everybody else. We are trying to be people we are not. Our financial debt is proof that we are trying to obtain an image created by society. We buy the latest fashion and lease the most impressive car. We put on an image of success carrying a mobile phone and Gucci bag; dressed in Versace, Tommy, and Anne Klein II. And if the truth were told, we are living far beyond our means. We are the working poor - just one paycheck from being homeless. We are fakes and phonies. Our hair is fake. Our nails are fake. Our eye color is fake. We are trying to escape being our real selves. We are constantly on a diet - afraid to eat in public because folks my see that our best friends are a knife and a folk. We get our tummies tucked, faces lifted, noses fixed, and thighs lypo-suctioned, trying to be like Naomi Campbell when we are really Mom’s Maebellie. We are trying to live up to a man-made image --an imitation of someone else’s idea of life. We are in the land of the living but we are not living large.

Many of us are too busy to live and enjoy life. We are so caught up in our struggle to make a living that we don’t have the time to really breathe. We don’t have time to spend with our families and to socialize with our friends. Life for us is filled with schedules, obligations, and responsibilities. We are bound by an alarm clocks, time clocks, and biological clocks. From sun up to sun down we are working on proposals, presentations, and budgets. We are busy networking, making ends meet, and pulling strings. We live through hectic and confusing days. Our cars break down, our relationships break up, our children mess up, and we are just trying to keep up. We are stressed out, burned out, broke down, filled with the blues, living in the dumps, depressed, frustrated, anxious, and restless. We are like walking zombies addicted to nicotine and caffeine; our lives are busy with hustle and bustle but we are not living large.

Then, some of us are afraid to live. We are afraid to branch out and experience life. We play it safe and never risk going out on a limb. We treat life, like we do television, being contented as couch potatoes and watching life go by. We spend our days seeing others achieve their dreams and accomplish their goals. Our language is filled with ‘could ofs’. I’ve could of gotten that promotion if I wanted to. I could of’ started my own business if I wanted to. I could of finished college if I wanted to. Our lives are filled with language of what we ‘could of’ done. Now we spent our time wondering about opportunities not taken; doors never opened; and paths we were too afraid to travel. We are in the land of the living but we are not living large.

We need to get a life. We are in need of a change in our routines. Like the people mentioned in John's Gospel, we are in need of a new living. We are like brother Nicodemus, going to church, Sunday after Sunday, serving on boards and committees, knowing all about the doctrine and dogma. And maintaining a moral and upright life. But we are not experiencing new life. We have been in the church for years; and yet, we are still spiritually dead. We need a new life. We need to be born again. We are like the Samaritan woman, going from one relationship to another, searching for someone to make our lives complete; yet, we end up with the local town dog. Our emotions have been played with and we have been lied to. We thirst for love. We thirst for acceptance. We go through life carrying a bucket of dried up dreams and false hopes. Our self-esteem is low, and we are willing to settle for anything and anyone that comes our way. We need a new life. We are like the adulterous women, caught sleeping around. We are afraid to make a commitment. Our only concern is our black book and satisfying our own passions. We need new life. We are like the Pharisees who came to John the Baptist, asking, "Who he was?” “Why was he preaching? Why was he breaking tradition?” We are the National Inquirer, trying to find out every body’s business. We are bound up by rituals, tradition, and old paradigms. We are afraid to be different, afraid to do something new. We need a new life. Some of us are like Mary and Martha mourning over the death of a love one. We are overcome with grief. We don't know how we can go on. We just want to roll up and die. We need new life.

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