Summary: A Family all age message about practicing our faith, leaning on the Spirit & staying close to Jesus.
2 Peter 1: 3- 11
WORD # 1
I want to suggest that being a Christian is lot like being an arrow. Now I’m no expert on arrows, though have seen them used, I can remember Errol Flynn - Robin Hood, anyone else? I can remember hours spent as a child imagining life as Robin Hood firing pretend arrows made of twigs from imaginary bows. What a life - being a adult seldom brings moments of such deep joy!
But anyhow back to the point!
Being a Christian is like being an arrow fired form Robin Hood’s bow, & when I was in Florida a few years ago I went to an American Indian festival & brought 2 arrows, & I am going to send one around which you can see & hold – but PLEASE be careful with it.
So what is an arrow for?
Yes to puncture a target - to make an hole.
Which means that it must be sharp & pointed to the right degree, because if it isn’t it will just bounce off the target. An arrow if not sharp is of no use to anyone.
In Christian terms the arrow head is our talents and gifts, which need to be honed & sharpened. The reason you young people have to go to school is because you need to practice & get your gifts & talents working right. If you don’t practice your English, Maths, Science you won’t ever be able to use them properly.
In the Christian life our gifts & talents are what?
Parenting, praying, sharing faith, being a youth leader, being a steward or organist – the list is endless. If we do not practice using these like you do at school our arrow head will remain blunt & pointless.
If you never come to worship is it any wonder don’t feel good at it?
Similarly if we don’t pray how will you ever become good at it?
How will our faith grow if we don’t exercise it with others?
How share grow confident talking about Jesus with others if we never do it.
Anyone know what an arrow without a head is? Just a stick.
So we need to exercise our talents & gifts. I wonder can you remember back quite a few years now to an ad for McDonalds where a young footballer was showing off his ball control skills, playing keepie-upie. He was amazing especially as I could only manage it up for 1 or 2 taps! He grew up to be fantastically good & famous footballer. Anyone know who that young lad was? David Beckham.
He got good because he practiced, he sharpened his skill for hour after hour, & as we all know practice makes perfect.
WORD # 2
The next thing that is important about arrow is the shaft. The archer in Robin Hood days would spend hours picking right shaft, & once he found an acceptable bit of wood the real work would begin. He would soak it for days until it was pliable, then he would shape & compress it, forcing the wood to be the shape it needs to be. If he pushed too hard the wood would break.
The shaft for us is our character, our lifestyle, & God by His Spirit needs to shape our life’s in the same way as the archer does the wood. We need to be conformed to His way of living.
Now in Christian terms I have met some really talented & gifted people who wasted all that God has given them because no matter how sharp the arrow head is, if the shaft is not straight the arrow will always miss the target.
God calls each person - man, woman, child - to be shaped by His standards – to be good, strong and true so that we hit the targets He calls us to.
WORD # 3
I suppose you are wondering what the last point will be? Well there is only one last piece of the arrow - the flights. They are the lightest, smallest, most fragile yet probably the most important. Without the flights the arrow will never be balanced & will never fly true. What is more I’m told that it will also lack power.
For Christian the flights are God’s Spirit, fragile because He is easily driven out. Powerful because we need His help to live our lives as we should. You see being a good BB member / parent / Christian / Minister is difficult. Sometimes being a member of BB or Brownies is hard, we get teased for one thing. Being a parent is hard for different reasons too sometimes isn’t it? I know too that being a Christian is tough too. Sometimes it’s a bit like running on sand - slowly getting harder & harder, each step getting more exhausting.