Summary: The message is about being humble than we are we can do better>
Sermon “WE Can Do Better” Luke 1, 7-14
1. Consider the Humility of some folks in the sports arena
• Jim Thorpe? He was the most famous athlete of his time, able to run with speed and power as well as pass, catch, punt and kick. After leading the Canton Bulldogs to three unofficial world championships, he also played six seasons of major-league baseball and won two gold medals in the 1912 Olympics. King Gustav V of Sweden honored him during the closing ceremonies by saying, "You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world." Thorpe replied, "Thanks, King."
• Muhammad Ali, world famous boxer, is reported to have boarded a plane at the height of his career, and resisted the instructions of a stewardess, The stewardess told him to buckle up (repeatedly) and Ali said, "Superman don't need no seat belt." The stewardess, without missing a beat, replied, "Superman don't need no airplane, either. Buckle up." Ali swallowed his pride and buckled up.
• How radically the sporting world has changed since Thorpes day especially the NFL!
Today, success leads to excessive celebrations -- group high-fives, sack dances, push-ups, cartwheels, sit-ups, boat-rowing, snow angels and worm crawls. The arrogance of these athletes has become so bad that excessive celebrations now lead to an automatic 15-yard penalty. Makes you long for the days of Jim Thorpe and his simple, "Thanks, King."
2. Israel could have done better they chased after other Gods in the other lectionary reading Jere
• In your Youth you were so devoted, you loved me, you followed me in the desert, the results were those who opposed you were held guilty and disaster over came them. Jer. 2:2-4
• As they grew older so did their worship it was old, dried up barren, God says , "What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.
• Jesus addresses the religious folk “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to” (Matthew 23:13).
• 5"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteriesA wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them `Rabbi.'
3. Jesus is against ego hype In the Gospel lesson today Jesus talks about Humility
• Jesus doesn’t seem to care for excessive celebration When going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the Sabbath, he said, "When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down in the place of honor" (v. 8).
• Instead, says Jesus, "When you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, 'Friend, move up higher'; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you" (v. 10).
• Jesus says, "All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted" (v. 11).
4. Jesus wants us to do better He invites us to make some bold moves
• 12Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
• We can do much better we are called by the Holy Spirit to witness more effectively,
listen more insightfully, speak more truthfully, love more extravagantly,
care more soulfully, serve more creatively, give more lavishly, encourage more lovingly,
live more fully, participate more faithfully, pray more movingly, worship more deeply, celebrate more joyfully, sing more urgently, give more generously. We all can do better!