Summary: True Worship is a celebration. Palm Sunday sermon.
Most of us have never been to Nisswa, Minnesota, but I, for one, would like to go there someday. And when I go, I need to plan to stay over for Wednesday night. Not that I want to go to church there (Sorry about that, Chief!). No, the reason I want to visit Nisswa is for the Turtle Races. Every Wednesday in the summer people come from Nisswa and the surrounding communities to particiapte in Turtle races.
Bif, the announcer, calls the turtles to their mark, gives them the "GO!" and the crowd goes wild! People stand, jump, and wave their hands in the air, imploring their turtles to do what is most unturtle-like. The excitement grows and finanally reaches a boiling point as the preliminary winners line up for the final heat. Amid unrestrained shouts and cheers, the first turtle across the line wins its trainer the award of $5.00 and a turtle necklace.
And some people get upset win Christians get a little excited in church!
I heard about a couple who thought that ALPHA and OMEGA had come in their "Planned Parenthood", until the Lord added a PLUS sign to their family. They named their last child "Chairman", and he lived up to his name. Of course, as with most children who are born out of time, Chairman became rather spoiled. So much so that when Chairman cried to Grandma about something he wanted, Grandma was dutifully obedient to fulfill Chairman’s wish.
Grandma bought Chairman what every parent wishs Grandma would never buy a child - a dime-store turtle! My, how Chairman loved that turtle! He took his turtle to school for show and tell, taught his turtle little turtle tricks, took his turtle to church to show the preacher. Everything you can imagine could be done with one of those little turtles, Chairman did.
Well, naturally, the turtle got sick. And not surprizingly, Chairman got sick. He loved his turtle and begged his daddy to take the turtle to the Vet.
What would you do? Well, if you were Chairman’s daddy, you would have taken the turtle to the Vet, too!
Daddy sat Chairman on his lap as he gave him the prognosis. He said, "Son, the Vetranarian said that your turtle was, without a doubt, the most talented, the finest turtle he had ever examined! (It was the only turtle he had ever examined!) But, Chairman, they are calling your turtle from that big turtleland in the sky and he won’t be with us much longer."
Chairman started bawling!
But his daddy said, "Now wait a minute, son. Realizing as I do that we have had in our home one of the greatest turtles that ever crawled on the earth, I have decided that when he dies, we will get all your friends over here and pull all the pots and pans out from under the sink. We’ll get some of those noise makers and horns and we’ll march up and down the streets of the neighborhood with a parade to celebrate the homegoing of the greatest turtle who ever walked the face of the earth!"
Chairman’s eyes widened and he said, "Daddy, can we kill him now?"
Maybe we would worship better if we killed off some turtles who have slowed us down for too long!