Summary: Deacon ordination: Christ has won the victory, so yours is the opportunity to roll up the score with no fear of losing. Pass on what you have received in comfort, conversion, gifts.
Some things, once they get started, cannot be stopped. There are just some things, once they get rolling, which cannot be interrupted. It’s just impossible.
You’re a student and have an exam tomorrow. When the morning dawns and the sun begins to rise, no amount of wishing that the day light would not come will keep it from happening. You will have to face the music. It is obviously inevitable. Some things, once they get started, cannot be stopped.
Stand at the seashore at the right time of day and watch the tide begin to rise. If you do not move out of the way, you are going to get wet feet, slowly but surely. The old legend has it that King Canute, a British king back in the eleventh century, so flattered by courtiers and favor-seekers, who would night and day sing his praises and tell him how wonderful he was, took his throne out to the shore, sat down in the throne, and commanded the tides not to roll in. But I do not believe you need to be told that all Canute got for his troubles was a soggy throne and a drowned ego.
Some things, once they get going, cannot be stopped.
When you see a young man falling head over heels in love with a young woman ...or for that matter, when you see him falling into like if not love ... you can forget about giving him advice. You can forget your warnings concerning the wiles of womanhood. He is a lost cause. Some things, once they get going, cannot be stopped.
When you see a government official beginning to use words like "rebuilding the infrastructure", or "providing subsidies and guarantees", or "contracting for human services", well, then, what is coming, as sure as night follows day? You know very well: April 15? Taxes, that’s what. Some things, once they get going, read my lips, cannot be stopped.
But now let me tell you that God works that way too. When God gets going, you are not going to stop Him. You are not going to deter Him from His purposes. And when our God gets something started, watch out, because it is going to keep on going, it is going to pass from person to person, from church to church, from nation to nation ...it is going to keep going until His purposes are accomplished.
The apostle Paul begins his letter to the Corinthian church by telling them of a frightening incident out there in Asia somewhere. We believe it was probably in the city of Ephesus, where the mob got worked up into a frenzy because Paul and his companions challenged the worship of the Greek goddess Diana. The mob scene there was so bad that Paul thought he was about to be killed ...he says, "In our hearts we felt the sentence of death... we despaired of life."
But it was not to be. And the reason is that when God gets something started, there is no stopping it until His purposes are complete. Paul quickly learned why his life had been spared and what it meant that there would be no sentence of death -- listen: "This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us."
Now do you begin to get the picture? Some things, once they are set in motion, are not going to be stopped. This is one of the rock-bottom, basic ideas of the Christian faith: that God in raising Jesus Christ from the dead has started a life thing that is not going to be stopped. This life thing, this victory thing, this is not going to stop until God is finished. Some things ...God’s things ...once they are under way, are never going to be stopped until the victory is won.
And it is because that is true that we have come today to celebrate the setting aside of men and women for the office of deacon: servants in the Kingdom. Because what our God has started in raising Jesus from the dead signals the future; because what our God has done in delivering Christ from the grave tells us what He is going to do; because, although we do not know all the chapters in-between now and then, we do know how the mystery will be solved ... we do know "who done it" ... because of all that, we come today to set aside servants of Christ who will participate in a task that is already done, who will do a job in a no-lose situation.
Why? Because some things, once they are in motion, cannot be stopped. And because what God is about will be accomplished.