Sermons

Summary: When life gets you down, and the constrains of this world tug at you --- seek Jesus your support

It Can Get Personal

Message four of five

I Am the Resurrection and the Life

March 25, 2012

Michael Wiley

John 11:25

Introduction:

When I was in High School and then again in college, I hated studying poetry. Now the writing and reading of poetry is an art form. An art form I appreciate but don’t enjoy much.

I’m just a black and white kind of guy down deep.

If you’ve got something to say, say it! Don’t hide in simile and metaphor, just say it!

Some people love poetry. They love the challenge of finding the true meaning of the poem, fleshing out what the author was trying to say.

That’s really not me.

There was one Sonnet however, in college, that I connected with. It seemed to touch me, because I got it, and could see what the author was saying.

That Sonnet was the Silken Tent by Robert Frost.

She is as in a field, a silken tent

At midday when a sunny summer breeze

Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,

So that in guys it gently sways at ease,

And its supporting central pole,

That is its pinnacle to heavenward

And signifies the sureness of the soul,

Seems to owe naught to any single cord,

But strictly held by none, is loosely bound

By countless silken ties of love and thought

To everything on earth the compass round,

And only by one's going slightly taut

In the capriciousness of summer air

Is of the slightest bondage made aware.

Frost is speaking of a woman, beautiful and strong as silk, able to stand strong on her own.

But when the challenges of life come she feels the tug of bondage. She finds she is tied to the laws of life and nature.

Transition:

This poem came to mind as I was reading John chapter 11 in preparation for today.

Mary and Martha, Jesus’ closest female disciples, found the confines of life pulling on them and send for their Lord.

Using Frost’s Sonnet as a backdrop, I want to look at this chapter and apply it to our own lives – lives that are tied to this world, but long for the new world to come.

You must know where to go when life’s chords tighten

We all live in the constraints of this world.

We must go to work to provide

We must follow the laws of the land

We must get sick and work to get well

In Jesus’ prayer to the father just before He was arrested and killed, He prayed, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.” (John 17:15)

Some Christians believe the best way the can survive in the world is to separated themselves from it.

BUT, in fleeing from the world we would be fleeing from duty. Jesus told His disciples that they were to be the salt to check and prevent the spread of corruption. Every Christian is to make one spot of the world purer, sweeter, a holier place to live in. If we hide away from men, we are withdrawing the salt of our life from the world, and leaving our little allotted spot unblessed.

Jesus said also that His disciples were to be the light of the world. He wants us to throw our light where it is dark, that we may be a comfort to others and cheer dreary lives. If we go off into seclusion, we leave those places dim, which it was our responsibility to fill with light.

The Lord wants us in the midst of the world's evil—that we may cleanse it, comfort it.

(http://www.gracegems.org/Miller/christian_in_the_world.htm)

Yes the Chords of life constrain us, and at times seem to defeat us, so we need to know where to go in our time of need.

John chapter 11 opens with this:

John 11:1-3

1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” (ESV)

The two sisters, Mary and Martha, knew where to go. In their time of need, they went straight to Jesus. Of course they didn’t want to leave their brother so they sent a messenger the one-day walk to get Him.

Where else would they turn?

They could have gone straight to the doctor.

Have you ever noticed how we Western Christians have an ailment, go to the doctor, get his advice or medicine and act on it? We tend to only go to Lord when the doctors fail – when the diagnosis is bleak, then we stat praying.

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