Summary: Faith is a reasonable and necessary priority for us before we kick the bucket.
For those of you who weren’t able to make it last week because of the lovely weather we had, we began a series called, "Your Bucket List." Which I borrowed from a movie which came out about a year ago called The Bucket List. In the movie two very different men, one a wealthy business man, the other a mechanic, meet in a hospital room where they discover they have cancer and only a year left to live. Together they come up with a bucket list of all things they want to do before they...kick the bucket. And since they only have a year left they put everything else on hold and head out across the world to complete their dream or wish list before they die. They do things like go skydiving, race a dream car on raceway, go halfway around the world to see the pyramids in Egypt, and the Taj Mahal in India among a few places. However during their journey they discover there are more important things in life than just having fun completing a wish list. While the bucket list was a good idea, it didn’t help them prioritize the things that really matter in a person’s life. Things like faith and family and friends.
Last week we began our New Year with a challenge to begin your own bucket list. Imagine you found out tomorrow you only had a year left to live. Let’s say, by the end of this year, 2009, you would meet your Maker. What would you like to accomplish before leaving earth? Perhaps another way of looking at it is, what regrets would you have if you didn’t do them before you die? This bucket list we are making isn’t just an exercise in listing all the fun or cool things you always wanted to do but never got around to. Rather your bucket list is about listing the things which really matter, which will make a difference before the end of your life. Your bucket list is really about your priorities.
Again this week you have two yellow sheets of paper in your bulletin to begin thinking about and writing down your bucket list (they use a yellow sheet of paper in the movie). One sheet is for your benefit to take with you, while the other sheet is for you to jot down a couple items from your bucket list and drop them in one of these buckets on your way out. I will share some of these on Sunday morning so we can get an idea of what others are thinking about.
Let me read a couple from last week for you: [Read a selection of bucket list ideas]
This week we are looking at the bucket list priority of faith. Let’s watch this clip from The Bucket List.
[Play clip of Edward and Carter having discussion over faith while riding in Edward’s airplane].
It’s an interesting conversation isn’t it? Having faith versus "we live, we die and the wheels on the bus go round and round." Is faith irrational or even necessary? Because a lot of people seem to get by just fine without faith.
1. God is revealed in Creation (v. 19-20)
The movie clip began with Carter looking out over the beauty of the polar caps, the stars shining brightly and his comment was, "it’s really one of God’s good ones." It’s interesting that while one man looks at the stars and sees God’s handiwork which supports his faith, the other just sees the same old stars he’s seen hundreds of times and doesn’t think twice about it. It doesn’t give him any reason to think that God exists let alone to have faith and make it a priority in his life.
In fact he seems to say that faith is too much of a stretch? It is too giant of a wall to leap over.
The Apostle Paul apparently didn’t think it was, and he made it very clear in our passage this morning when he wrote:
NLT Romans 1:19 For the truth about God is known to them [those who reject God] instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. 20 From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities-- his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.
Paul is saying, God has revealed himself in Creation. He has made himself plain or evident including his attributes and qualities to every person on earth through his Creation. Whether someone grew up in the remote jungles of South America where no Christian missionary has ever been, or on Antarctica, or on Manhattan Island in New York City everyone is able to see Creation and know the Creator. Creation is so well put together, how does a migrating bird know how to come back to the exact same spot after thousands of miles of travel? Or even better, how does a monarch butterfly, which was born in Mexico, return to the same territory as its parents in Michigan? Everything is so precise and well designed it reveals an intelligent designer who is smart enough and powerful enough to create everything to work together perfectly, from the expansive universe with galaxies and solar systems down to the microscopic level of things we didn’t even know existed until recently, like quarks. We are discovering new aspects of Creation all the time.