Summary: In this life we have the opportunity to create a world around us of darkness and death...or...we have the opportunity of creating a world of light. With our Lord’s help, we can become ’Light to a Dark World’.
Sermon: Giving Birth to Death
Scripture: James 1: 14-15
First...this morning, I would like to start out with a little story.
Once upon a time there was a man who thought he was dead. His concerned wife and friends sent him to the friendly neighborhood psychiatrist. The psychiatrist determined to cure him by convincing him of at least one fact that contradicted his belief that he was dead. So the psychiatrist decided to use the simple truth that dead men do not bleed. He put his patient to work reading medical texts, observing autopsies, etc. And after weeks of effort, the patient finally said, “All right, all right! You’ve convinced me. Dead men do not bleed.” Whereupon the psychiatrist stuck him in the arm with a needle, and the blood began to flow. The man looked down with a contorted, ashen face and cried: “Doggies! Dead men do bleed after all!”
Well, this man would rather continue to believe that he was dead, than to realize the fact…that he was alive. He would rather follow his flawed belief, than accept the truth.
There are millions of people in this world who are in the same situation as our little man in this illustration. They would rather continue to believe in themselves or a dead-end system of beliefs, than to accept a better way...The Way of Christ.
You know as I read my Bible and start to comprehend each verse that I read, there are certain passages that seem to stand out...passages that are uncommon to my way of thinking. Last week, we talked about ridding our lives of sin and in the preparation of that sermon was the verse that talked about ‘giving birth to death’
In James 1: 14 – 15, he says,
14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
I’ve always thought it kind of funny...but, my wife Sue cannot sit and watch someone on TV walk or swim into very narrow tunnels or caves. She has to cover her eyes or leave the room. She is quite claustrophobic. On the other hand, She can sit enamored for hours watching the Health Channel, as the doctors cut a woman from hip to hip and reach in and pull out a newborn baby. It doesn’t seem to bother her to see this happening, because she is not focusing the unpleasantness of it all, she is seeing the miracle of it all...the birth of a new life.
Giving birth to new life is a miracle and a God-given joy. It remains today a mystery to even the best of human minds.
But the birthing that I speak of today is, in its own way, mysterious, too. It’s the ability we all possess to give birth to sin. How does this happen then...how do we as human beings give birth to sin and which then can create a dark world around us...a world that becomes guilt ridden, unhappy, angry, bitter...and how does it happen that some people can create such a dark world around them that it becomes hopeless, without light, and that suicide seems the only answer to it all. Just this last week, another suicide claimed a life in Cowley County.
I looked up some statistics on suicide that really were amazing...the World Health Organization estimates that in the year 2000 approximately one million people died from suicide. The global mortality rate is 16 people per 100,000. In other words, that’s one death every 40 seconds.
The World Health Organization further reports that:
Ø In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 (both sexes).
Ø Suicide attempts are up to 20 times more frequent than completed suicides. That means there were 20 million attempts at suicide every year.
Why is this happening? What causes an individual to be so hopeless that they try to take their own life? Do these people become so lost within themselves and despondent that their worlds spiral into darkness...their spirits so crushed, that they cannot see any light in their lives...they cannot see any reason or purpose for living?
What is the answer for someone whose world is becoming darker and darker?
Christ said, ”Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Here is His promise to help...Here is Christ saying that His help is available to us, even in our darkest moments. He even announces that, ‘He is the light...’.
This morning, let’s take a look at our scripture and see how sin works its way into our lives and then we’ll confirm our belief that our Lord and Savior is with us always...to help us in our time of real need and also our darkest hour.