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Summary: IN a world where things are made to be unfaithful, we have been given something that will never fail, nor be obsolete.. Jesus, love, mercy, grace

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Planned Non-Obsolescence

John 6:24-25Aug 20

Pentecost 11

† In the name of Jesus †

Grace and peace for you, from God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ

Cars, Computers, the Etch-a-Sketch, Chinese Food, McDonald Happy Meal toys

Something that lasts like the writing in the snow?

What do the following have to do with each other?

Modern Automobiles, Computers and Cellphones, the Etch-a-Sketch, McDonald Happy meal toys, and Chinese food?

They all rely on a business concept, first coined by an industrialist named Brook Stevens, in 1954. His theory, called planned obsolescence, had already been practiced for years, perhaps even centuries. But after he coined the term, it became part and practice of world-wide business, a strategy used to keep businesses open, and owners of businesses, wealthy. Basically, the idea is to create a product, that creates excitement, enough so, that there is product loyalty. Then, the product, which creates an emotional bond, is designed to become either obsolete, or cease to function, or meet its need. Because of the emotional tie to the product, those who purchased it, will rush out to replace it.

Think of my examples! The most obvious is the Happy Meal toys! After eating the meal at McD’s, the child plays with the toy endlessly. They love the 35 cent piece of plastic! But by the time they get home, the toy has broken, and the child will cry, and the parents will go tomorrow back to McDonald’s for lunch or for dinner, just to bring relief to their ears, and the child’s tear ducts.

Cars and computers are now planned to be obsolete in 2 to 5 years. That is why they will only lease them that long! New software is written every 6 months, requiring a new pc to run it, for it can’t run on the older unit. How many cars are designed to last over 100,000 miles? If they were, why not warranty them that long?

My favorite is the etch-a-sketch! You spend all this time working to create a masterpiece, and some really are that good! But by the time you stand up to show someone, and bring them the masterpiece, the sand shifts, and the work begins again. But because of the pride in the first masterpiece, you attempt to do it, over and over again!

We fall for planned obsolescence, for things we have to acquire over and over again, it is part of our culture. We even seek such things out, for the rush, for the excitement of having one new again. Today’s gospel will challenge that thought, as Jesus will advise the people of God, to switch from chasing that which is planned to be obsolete, which is planned to stop satisfying, and switch to desiring that which will satisfy forever.

Hungry – they looked for Jesus

Wrong reason? Jesus will use it

The Work of Seeking

But what to seek?

In the passage right before our reading today, you would find the feeding of the 5000 men and their families that was last week’s gospel reading. Remember how the people had run all the way around the Sea of Galilee, looking to find Jesus? And when, in the middle of the most desolate section of the region, after teaching them about God’s love, he fed 15,000 people with a few fish, and some bread.

But Jesus went into the hills, while the disciples set out for Capernaum. And like all food, the bread and fish only nourished them. They are hungry again, and their hearts desire to again see the incredible way that Jesus provides for them. And so, they begin to search throughout Galilee.

Jesus, when they find him in the Capernaum synagogue, (how did he get their anyway? He walked on water!) notes their reason clearly. Look there, in your reading at verse 26, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. There was definite self-interest, that motivated them to seek out Jesus – to be filled again with food. Just as we need to replace those things, the etch-a-sketch drawing of which we were so proud, the truck that finally hit the wall, and will cost more to fix, than it is worth, the computer that we have become so used to using, we cannot write legibly anymore!. They wanted the food, to have their desire and hunger satisfied.

Jesus will acknowledge this self-serving motivation, that causes them to seek Him out. He doesn’t leave them there though, thinking about their belly’s. He uses their attention to call them to seek something more, something more substantial, something more lasting, indeed, it will be everlasting.

So, Jesus takes their hunger, and refocuses it towards something more nourishing, something that will last longer, that will mean far more to them.

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