Summary: There is nothing more beautiful than a life given over to God.
"Who Made Who?"
(Play "Who Made Who" by AC/DC following the Scripture Reading)
"Video games [they] play me...
Nothin' gonna save your one last dime
'cause it own [s] you
Through and through...
The data bank know [s] my number...
Kick you round the world
There ain't a thing that it can't do
Do to you...
Who made who, who made you
Who made who
who turned the screw"
In 1986, the Rock Band AC/DC wrote the song: "Who Made Who" for the soundtrack of the movie "Maximum Overdrive," which is about computers and humans switching places.
That which was created lost its way and tried to take control of that which created it.
As you can imagine, chaos and destruction ensued.
It was sort of a silly movie, but it does bring up an important concept or question: "Who Made Who?"..."Who or What is in Control?"
In 1986, I wanted to be a rock star.
I moved to California immediately following my graduation from high school, and enrolled in Santa Barbara City College.
One day, I was dropping off an advertisement into the big blue mailbox on the corner: "Heavy Metal singer looking to form a band" for the local news rag when a car passed by with its windows down and the music cranking.
The song coming from this car stereo was "Who Made Who" by AC/DC.
This incident always stuck with me as sort of an epiphany...
...like the beginning of a journey I am still traveling.
Through this advertisement I met a young man who wanted to form a Christian Heavy Metal Band.
We became great friends and God used him to help me along my journey toward giving my life to Jesus.
"Who made who? Who turned the screw?"
I think most of us live our lives trying to walk the tightrope of allegiance.
To whom do we belong?
To Whom or to What are we living our lives for?
What does it mean to love and believe in Jesus, while at the same time trying to juggle the pressures of society, peers, desires, wants?
All that glitters is not gold, but oh how it does look good!!!
Youth and beauty are fleeting.
Life is short, but precious.
Time goes by fast and it's easy to waste it.
Life can be empty or it can be full.
During our short stay on earth we can achieve great and good things, or we can contribute to the mess, the madness, the selfishness, the greed.
In 1 Peter we are told, "Since you call on a Father who judges each [person's] work impartially, live your lives as strangers in reverent fear.
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life...
...but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God...
...love one another deeply from the heart.
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
For, 'All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.'"
It seems like yesterday that I was in my Senior year of high school hanging out in a park with my old buddies.
We were partying.
We were talking about the future and what we were going to do with our lives.
My friend Jim spoke up: "I'm going to keep doing what I am doing right now for the rest of my life."
But I thought to myself, "Not me. I want my life to count.
I feel called to become a Methodist Minister.
I don't know how I'm gonna do it.
I'm gonna have to clean up my act somehow.
But that's what I'm going to do with my life."
...at the same time I was thinking this, another voice was saying: "I want to be a rock star."
Again, what does it mean to love and believe in Jesus, while juggling the pressures of society, peers, desires, wants?
In our Gospel Lesson for this morning the Pharisees and their bitter enemies--the supporters of Herod, get together in order to try and "trap Jesus."
"Is it right for the chosen people of God, citizens of Israel, who have no king but God to pay taxes to an occupying pagan power whose emperor demands to be worshiped as a god?"
"Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar?"