Text: Romans 3:21-24
Title: Busting the Myths that Make Us Miserable.  Myth 3: I Should Never Have to Feel Guilty

We are about half way through our pilgrimage of Lent.  This is our fourth Wednesday together.  I’ve been working with a theme that I’ve called: “Myth-busting, Busting the myths that make us miserable.”  All of us go along through our lives telling ourselves little lies, myths about ourselves that we think will help us somehow have happiness or success, but which, in truth, are the source of our unhappiness and failure.

We revisit our theme of busting the myths that make us miserable.  And tonight’s myth is the idea that I should never have to feel guilty.  

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the author of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries.  He used to tell of the time when, as a prank, he sent an anonymous telegram to twelve different men, all of them men of good reputation and high standing in society.  All twelve telegrams had the same message.  The message simply said, “I know what you did.  I’m going to tell the world unless you leave at once.”  They were all unsigned.  Within twenty-four hours, the story goes, all twelve of them had left the country.

It’s hard to imagine that this is a true story, but supposedly it is.  If it is true, what does it prove?  Seemingly, it proves that all people have secrets that they do not wish the world to know.

Text:  Matthew 16:24–26
Title: Busting the Myths that Make Us Miserable.  Myth 2: The World Owes Me Happiness

[From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "Never, Lord!" he said. "This shall never happen to you!" 

Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."]

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? 

February 17, 2010 
Matthew 6:1-21

Today, on the church’s calendar, is Ash Wednesday. I wonder, what is the appropriate greeting on Ash Wednesday? “Happy Ash Wednesday” doesn’t sound right. “Blessed Ash Wednesday?” Maybe. I don’t think there is an official Ash Wednesday greeting.

Clearly, Ash Wednesday is not a holiday in the sense that we usually use that word. There are no Ash Wednesday parties. No Charlie Brown Ash Wednesday television specials. Holiday, no, but Holy Day, yes. This day is holy in that it marks the beginning of the holy season of Lent.

Between now and Easter, the Church will be encouraging its members to engage in a searching and fearless moral inventory of themselves. Please, take some time each day, perhaps at bedtime to pray about this. Before God, acknowledge all the ways in which you have personally fallen short of His will for us and determine to change your ways. That’s repentance. It’s not easy and it’s not pleasant. We’ll sing hymns with titles such as “Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted” and “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded.” Serious stuff. But it’s good to be serious sometimes.

Text: Romans 12
Title: Busting the Myths that Make Us Miserable.  Myth 1: It’s All About Me.

You may or may not know this about us yet, but we love animals.  Among pet owners, some people are dog people and some people are cat people.  We’re non-discriminatory.  We have two cats and a dog.  And they are indeed two very different species.  A dog looks at his owner and says, “This man feeds me; he cleans up after me.  He must be god.” A cat looks at his owner and says, “This man feeds me; he cleans up after me.  I must be god.”

This season of lent, for our midweek services, I am going to offer a sermon series that I am calling: “Mythbusters: Busting the Myths that Make Us Miserable.” Each week, I will talk about a common myth or lie that we tell ourselves.  I think these myths are pretty much universal in the sense that all people basically fall prey to them, at least to some extent.  Tonight’s myth is: “Its’ all about me.”

And that’s where my little illustration of the dogs and cats fits in.  Dogs represent the nature of humanity prior to the Fall into sin.  Before Adam and Eve rebelled against God’s will by eating the forbidden fruit, they existed to serve God and one another.  That’s how my dog is.  She just wants me to be happy.  She exists to serve me.  Her highest desire is to please me.  Because in her mind, I’m like God.

February 14, 2010
Text: Luke 9:28-36

About a hundred years ago, there was a boy who lived on a farm, way out in the country.  This was in the days before people were saturated with entertainment media so at that time, one of the most exciting things a child could do was go to the circus.  And this boy had never been to one.  So you can imagine his excitement when he saw a poster announcing that a traveling circus was coming to a nearby town.  He ran home with the glad news and asked his parents for permission to attend.

The family was poor, but the father sensed how important this was to his son, so he pulled out a dollar bill and gave it to him, sending him on his way.

The boy was so excited that his feet barely touched the ground all the way to the town.  When he got there, he noticed people were lining the streets and he worked his way through the crowd until he could see what was going on.

Redeemer Mission

Proclaiming to our community in word and deed the empowering love of God as demonstrated in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Redeemer Lutheran Church

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