Summary: A sermon to go with Nooma 18 - Name: http://www.nooma.com/Shopping/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=325
Dakota Community Church
November 25, 2007
Begin by presenting Nooma DVD #018 “Name”.
Available to purchase here:
Wow, once again the Nooma folks have done an outstanding job of powerfully bringing home an important, moving, and possibly life changing message in a mere 11 minutes.
There are probably a hundred different directions we could go from this point using this DVD as a launch point, every one of the labels on those t-shirts screams out to be addressed and hopefully we will cover many of them eventually; but, since I have the floor, I want to discuss the four main things that jumped out at me!
Let’s begin by looking at what seems to be the easiest and most obvious question to answer. It is one of the first things we learn in life, one of the first things we teach our children, and yet for many of us it stirs deep feelings and raises issues we would rather leave buried deep in our psyche.
1. What is your name?
Who are you?
It is not an easy question for many people.
When my son was in grade one he came home from school one day with one of the first little essay type papers he had ever written. The teacher had given them the task of writing something to describe themselves so that she could get to know them each a little better. What he had written made me feel very good inside, because I felt like it revealed something positive about how we were raising him and his brothers. I think it also made me feel like I had succeeded in not passing along what I believe to be one of the worst traits I posses, a poor self image, or low self esteem.
In grade one he had written a simple sentence which unfortunately would still be a stretch for me to write about myself. Here is what he wrote:
“My name is NAME. The best thing about being me is that I am NAME!”
Last Saturday night was Kathy’s work Christmas party. I was picking her up at the store and we were going from there to the hotel for the dinner and dance so I was driving downtown to pick Kathy up, all dressed up in my best suit and tie. It isn’t the way I usually dress and I don’t feel all that comfortable in those clothes. I turned on the radio, which was set to the local 80’s station, (That’s right, not the Christian station!) and was enjoying the drive until a song came on that just hit me right where I live, a song that took me to a place that this Nooma DVD is addressing, a song that reminded me of a label I accepted from somewhere a very, very long time ago. The song was by a band that went by the name of Trooper and the song was; “Three Dressed Up As A Nine”.
As I am prone to do I immediately began thinking back to times in my life when I was “all dressed up”, Grade 12 Graduation, my prom night, my wedding day, Bible College graduation, every wedding or funeral I have ever performed, work parties.
That dark part of me says, “Yes, on my best day that’s all I am, that’s all I’ve ever been. A three dressed up as a nine.”
I don’t wallow in it or anything, I’m not suicidal or in need of meds, I put it down and get on with the evening – but I still go there!
I am not the first person to wrestle with these kinds of thoughts, in fact; I am sure I’m not the only one in this room.
When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."
"But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ’Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian."
The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?"
"But Lord,” Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."
The second issue the DVD brings up that jumps out at me is the idea that:
2. We need to claim our own history.
“You and I have pasts, families we’ve come from, things we’ve done, mistakes we’ve made, and where we’ve been and what we’ve done has shaped us into who we are today. So we have to embrace our story, our history. You don’t have to be proud of it, but you must claim it because it’s yours.” – Rob Bell