6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: YOLO Sermon part of the month-long New Year sermons LHC, January 24, 2015 As the saying goes, "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough". Question is, what are we doing with life today?


Good morning everyone. Welcome to Life Hope Community gathering. It is my prayer that you’re all at your most comfortable seats.

Before we move on let’s look at this:

-Flappy bird video

How many of you are familiar with this computer game? I think sometime in 2013 when this game hit the top list of the most downloaded games on mobile phones. But too sad it was removed due to some copyright issues. You may wonder why a game as simple as this, talking about its graphics, will be loved by the gamers. I think one of the reasons is that, it’s just so simple, and the moment your game is over you can easily reset or restart the game. As simple as another tap on the screen.

Well i think, most of you, if not all, would wish with me for life to be like that. When you’re about to die, you will just press a reset button and t hen puff, you’re renewed again. But we know that will not happen. We all gonna live once and life will end here on earth.

You only live once. YOLO.

In every generation, a saying comes out that people embrace and live.

Who knows what Carpe diem means? What about Memento mori?

• Carpe diem: “Seize the day.” And Memento mori: “Remember that you will die.”

There is a new one popular in youth culture: YOLO: You only live once. Same concept.

A yuppie’s slang. This phrase has become so popular that it has its own website, hashtag and acronym (YOLO).

(show slides)


-If I Stay

-If Only

-The Vow

-PS I love you

-The Fault in our stars

If we are keen enough, today’s pop culture, through these movies teaches us to make the most out of our lives today. To do whatever we can, to maximise living. Because not all of us get to have a second chance in life.

You only live once. YOLO.

transition: quotes:

What makes life so precious is that, it ends.

-The Fault in our stars

The first time I became aware of this phrase was when I spent a week with academy students for a week of prayer. "What is the meaning of life?" I said, asking them to respond in a sentence or two. Several students didn't even need a full sentence. They answered my question with this 4-letter acronym, YOLO.

For the next four days, we discussed the meaning of life from God's perspective, but the conversation continually came back to this phrase. For many of the students, this phrase said it all – providing meaning for their identities and telling them all they needed to know about life.

Since then, I have continued to ponder this phrase and its potential for defining a generation and culture.

It has been my experience that YOLO is often critiqued from the Christian viewpoint as the very definition of narcissism. There is some validity to this perspective.

YOLO is often used as validation for following our desires without thinking about the consequences or how our actions might affect others.

Yet, I wonder if we have not missed a wonderful opportunity to engage in a rich theological dialogue about the positive aspects of YOLO

While often used as an excuse for narcissistic habits, I find YOLO refreshing because this mantra acknowledges a fact that was often missing from the prevailing ideology of the past generations.

I grew up in the world of Nintendo video games where second chances were plentiful; Mario could always find another life easily.

There’s always a point in every generation, season, decade, when people had come to see death as optional, and safety as given. There’s always a point in life when people just enjoy complacency. Then a tragedy, perhaps an earthquake, or terrorists’ attack will happen, next thing you know, people are back again to valuing their live more than ever.

After 9/11, the U.S. was forced to acknowledge that our sense of safety and security within our borders was a myth, and that death was an inevitable reality.

Before 2008, the prevailing attitude was that if you needed extra cash you could just use credit, as you would easily pay it back later when you graduated from college and secured a well-paying job in our robust economy.

After the economic downturn, the american were forced to face the fact that a college education may not guarantee the American Dream or even allow us to provide for our family.

We Filipinos also have a fair share on this kind of experience. The Yolanda tragedy, the Bohol earthquake.

YOLO embraces a reflection on reality that many people found lacking while they were growing up: Life is finite, resources are limited, and death is a reality that cannot be ignored.

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