Summary: A sermon encouraging listeners to regain their childlike faith and to support those whose childhood innocence has been stolen from them.
ƒæ It was one of those "high definition" moments of life.
ƒæ The kind of moment that gets stuck in your head as a picture of what life used to be like. An idealized moment in time that becomes a part of our great personal epic.
ƒæ The summer storm had dumped ponds of water teaming with intrigue for two fifth grade boys with nothing to do, and throwing rocks and mud into the waters of the ditch just seemed so 4th grade
ƒæ We were looking a greater adventure in this chapter of our epic journey of boyhood.
ƒæ Our eyes were drawn to the toad peeking above the edge of the muck. A pack of fire crackers from the corner store, stolen matches from my mom's purse and we had the makings of a high definition moment.
ƒæ He had no hope, hopping back and forth between the bursting bombs lodged by those two giants that day.
ƒæ And as laugher turned to carelessness, upon lobbing my next amphibian attack, I tossed the firecracker too high and it ended up exploding on my shoulder, next to my ear.
ƒæ I still hear the ringing in my ear to this day. It reminds me, in high definition, of that forever moment that would come to symbolize the best of my late childhood, a day that will live in my heart forever.
ƒæ Before the world grew dark and complicated, before uncertainty and fear-do you remember the innocent, carefree days?
ƒæ Do you remember sitting on the floor, surrounded by crayons, coloring the world around you as the warm light from the spring sun passed through your window?
ƒæ The first time you could ride your bike around the block by yourself? Your first love note-check here if you love me, check here if no.
ƒæ Do you remember not knowing what time it was as you played with your Cabbage Patch Kid, Gerber Baby, or Strawberry Shortcake?
ƒæ Was there a time when you laid awake at night thinking about Transformers, Stretch Armstrong, or how to conquer the next level of Zelda?
ƒæ There is a place deep within us that longs for the beginning of the story.
We Are All a Part of a Great Epic Quest
ƒæ We are all a part of a great epic quest-a journey of momentous proportions, one that has heroines and villains, sorrow and consequences, beginnings and laughter.
ƒæ Our quest has bleak, seemingly hopeless moments as well.
ƒæ I believe we are in one of those chapters of the quest-a time when darkness seems to have already won the day.
ƒæ Thanks to globalization, Gary can pick up the phone and "mail order" forced prostitutes smuggled in from Uzbekistan on Wednesday and have them working in his Chicago-based night club on Friday as sex workers.
ƒæ Thanks to technology, Tim, an IT professional, alone in his room on an overnight business trip to Atlanta, can log on to Craig's list and purchase a two hour block with two 15 year old girls, delivered to his room for a mere two hundred dollars.
ƒæ Do you remember the movie "The Never Ending Story?" Do you remember the creeping darkness, the nothing that threatened to swallow up the world and end the universe forever unless Bastian could finish his quest to end the darkness?
ƒæ There is this same kind of wickedness spreading across the globe tonight, threatening to consume the very soul of humanity.
ƒæ The sex slave industry is not just an attack on young boys, women, and children; it is an attack on the fabric of the human soul.
ƒæ By allowing the commoditization of people for profit and sexual gratification, we are allowing the darkness to overtake what it means to be preeminently human.
ƒæ We are a part of this great epic quest, the quest for innocence, the quest for freedom, for dignity, and for joy.
ƒæ This great quest is not merely a quest to end slavery, or to end the great injustices and suffering around us-that's only the beginning.
ƒæ As Christians, we believe the quest to be agents of God's Kingdom is a quest to make all things flourish to the glory of God. This is the quest of the modern day abolitionist movement.
ƒæ It is not enough to merely end slavery in our lifetime, it is not enough to merely set the captives free-we seek the mental, relational, financial, academic, and spiritual flourishing of the down-trodden.
ƒæ The slave has been made in the image of the celestial King, the one who stops our hearts, who takes our breath, who brings us to our knees by the mere presence of His name.
ƒæ She reflects the image of the one who causes the seas to churn, who wipes away coasts, who brings great cities to ruin, and who holds the power of eternal life and death in his mouth.