Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Movies + Pop Corn + Church = Reel Talk

Reel Talk

Pt. 2 - Fences

I. Introduction

Some of the women in the congregation feel like they have already had a spiritual encounter just cause I showed a little Denzel this morning. The story line is simple . . . A high school star in baseball feels like life has kept him down. Instead of being the rich, successful, applauded athlete he anticipated he is now in midlife and a career garbage man. Married at young age and now has two sons. The oldest he doesn't understand because he is a musician and he can't relate. The youngest wants to play football, but let down by sports in his own life, Denzel's character tries to force the young man to quit sports and go to work. The tension in the family is high. It is a family that is together but torn apart at the same time. The movie focuses on Denzel's wife Rose's insistence and almost fixation on having Denzel construct a fence around the tiny, beat up, scraggly, barren little yard. One day Denzel's character and his best friend have a discussion about why Rose wants this "unnecessary" fence so bad and it leads the best friend to make this statement . . . "Some people build fences to keep people out and some people build fences to keep people in!"

Fences . . . I have discovered in my short time on earth that we don't like fences! This is especially true about Americans. We don't like to be confined, walled in, constricted or restricted in any way or by anyone. Let me see if I can prove this too you with a much older piece of video.

VIDEO - Don't fence me in.

The song was written in 1934 as a poem and then sung by Cole Porter. This song has been covered by the likes of Roy Rogers, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Willie Nelson and most recently The Killers in 2013 as part of a tourism campaign for Nevada. Listen to the lyrics:

Oh give me the land, lots of land

Under starry skies above

Don't fence me in

Let me ride through the wide open

Country that I love

Don't fence me in

Let me be by myself in the evening breeze

Listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees

Send me off forever but I ask you please

Don't fence me in

Just turn me loose let me straddle my old saddle

Underneath the western skies

On my cayuse let me wander over yonder

Till I see the mountain rise

I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences

Gaze at the moon till I lose my senses

I can't look at the hobbles and I can't stand the fences

Don't fence me in

These lyrics are burned into the conscious of American's. You may not know the words but you are branded with the concept. No fences. No barriers. No rules. No restrictions. No boss. No one can tell me what to do. I am my own truth. I am my own standard. Don't judge me! Don't fence me in! We don't like fences and it doesn't matter who builds those fences and yet, I want to suggest to you that God establishes fences to keep some people (things) out and He establishes fences to keep some people (things) in!

Almost immediately in Scripture we read about fences.

Text: Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17

Then God planted a garden in Eden, in the east. He put the Man he had just made in it. God made all kinds of trees grow from the ground, trees beautiful to look at and good to eat. The Tree-of-Life was in the middle of the garden, also the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. God took the Man and set him down in the Garden of Eden to work the ground and keep it in order. God commanded the Man, "You can eat from any tree in the garden, except from the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. Don’t eat from it. The moment you eat from that tree, you’re dead."

Genesis 3:22-24

God said, "The Man has become like one of us, capable of knowing everything, ranging from good to evil. What if he now should reach out and take fruit from the Tree-of-Life and eat, and live forever? Never—this cannot happen!" So God expelled them from the Garden of Eden and sent them to work the ground, the same dirt out of which they’d been made. He threw them out of the garden and stationed angel-cherubim and a revolving sword of fire east of it, guarding the path to the Tree-of-Life.

Adam and Eve are confronted by a fence. You have the entire run of the garden. You can eat of any tree. You have complete and total freedom. Then God introduces one fence. He surrounds the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and makes it off limits. He fences it off with instruction and says don't touch or you will suffer the consequences.

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