3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: Early Christians were accused of turning the world "upside-down". The ironic thing is that it already was.

Upside-Down World

Acts 17:1-9

I was 11 years old and it was summer and I was in my element.

Every morning we’d pack up our stuff, climb on our bikes and head down to the neighborhood swimming pool.

There were usually a gang of about 6 of us, sometimes more, sometimes less.

We got to the swimming pool, headed straight for the diving board and never left it ‘til it was time to go home.

That’s all we would do.

Jump – or dive – into the water, climb back out and do it again. And again!

And like little boys will, we would challenge each other to do the most dangerous things we could think of.

Flips, belly flops, nose-bleeders, you name it, we tried it.

With the exception of one especially difficult maneuver that no one even brought up.

It was the double flip off of the high dive.

Now, the big kids did doubles and two and a halfs and all kinds of other crazy things.

And we dared each other to do all kinds of things, but NEVER the double flip.

Because, as every little boy knows, dares go first, right?

So, nobody dared to dare the dreaded double flip.

Until the day that Steve Cox did a double.

To this day, I think it was an accident.

I think he was trying to do a one and a half, and just stayed tucked too long.

But there was no doubting that he did it. Everybody saw it.

And everybody cheered and slapped him on the back, all the while with stomachs churning.

You know why, don’t you?

Because all of us knew that NOW Steve Cox could dare us to do a double flip.

And he already HAD gone first.

So, maybe because he was my best friend and I couldn’t let him show me up, I was the first to try.

I climbed to the top of the high dive and looked down into the great gulf below.

I took four carefully measured steps to the end, said a short prayer, launched myself into the air in a tight tuck and proceeded to lose all control.

I might have flipped twice, I might have flipped a dozen times, I have no idea.

All I knew was that after about ten minutes of terror, the water hit me like a freight train directly on my face.

Now, did you ever try to scream underwater?

Well, don’t, because A) no one can hear you, and B) you blow out all your air!

I screamed, swam to the surface and realized something was very wrong.

Someone, while I was screaming underwater, someone…had poured concrete over the top of the pool!

I couldn’t believe it!

I touched it, I knocked on it, I tried to breath it. Nothing!

And then it dawned on me! This wasn’t the top of the pool, this was the bottom!

Turns out I was so disoriented that I swam to the bottom instead of the top!

Well, I say all that to say this: That reminds me of the world today!

Sin has distorted our view!

Sin has smacked us in the face and disoriented us to the point that we think that right is wrong and wrong is right!

To think that down is up and up is down!

Do you know that prisoners are suing their victims today?

If you fight back during an attack or a break-in and you injure your attacker, it can be labeled self defense in criminal court and that’s that.

But it’s not that simple in civil court.

It seems that criminals have rights, even if they’re attacking you and sometimes they’re even able to collect a settlement!

And even if they don’t win, they can drag you into court as many times as they want.

The state pays for their lawyer and you pay for your own!

That sounds backwards, doesn’t it?

A lot of things are backwards in this world.

We live in a time when homosexual marriages are becoming acceptable.

And anyone who suggests that homosexuality might be a sin is labeled intolerant, homophobic and hopelessly behind the times.

I wonder if that’s what they said about Lot just before Sodom was destroyed?

The point is this: Jesus came to make things right. To set things straight.

He came to an upside-down world…to show us how to live right-side up!

In short, he came to orient us.

Do you know what I mean by that?

Have you ever been to a strange city somewhere and been totally disoriented?

And you wander around until you find something familiar and then you can figure out where you are.

In Seattle it was easy. As long as I could see the Space Needle I was fine!

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