Sermon Illustration: It Happens So Fast

It’s happens so fast. It happens when aren’t expecting it. It happens and you don’t even mean for it to.

Last Sunday morning, not only was the AC not working in the sanctuary, but we couldn’t figure out how to turn off the heat. It was really, really hot. The first service was held in the sanctuary, complete with bulletins serving multi-purposefully as fans and information. The second service was held in the fellowship hall where the AC was graciously and wonderfully working. In both services, due to the projectors being too warm to function, we were “forced” to use and sing out of the hymnals. Remember ’em? During the second service, while I was sitting with my family, I noticed my wife pointing to the words in the hymnal held by one of my children.  This happened as we were singing the second verse to one of the songs. I realized what she was doing. She was showing my kids how to read the lines in a hymnal. You start with the first verse and chorus, then go back to the top and read the second line, so forth and so on.

My kids didn’t know how to follow along in a hymnal! What kind of parent am I?

I immediately began to process in my head how I can change that. Reading out of the hymnal was part of my childhood that is a lost art on my kids. I began cursing the screens we use on Sunday mornings. I began to become nostalgic about the past. I began to formulate a plan on how we can teach our kids how to read out of a hymnal.

It happens so fast, doesn’t it? It happens without even realizing it, doesn’t it? It happens unexpectedly. Without even realizing it, I was making the point of corporate worship all about what I used to know and experience, as opposed to the glories and majesty and greatness and bigness of God. I immediately began to process how I can teach my kids and your kids how to read out of a hymnal, thinking that was what it was all about.

It happens so fast.

It’s a great thing to be able to read out of a hymnal. I wouldn’t change my childhood days for anything in the world. I hope my kids learn how to use a hymnal. But you know what I want more than anything? For them to know the love Jesus has for them, for them to love Jesus with all they have, and for them to love others as they love themselves.

What I found myself doing without even realizing it was making my childhood experiences ruler and king as opposed to asking the question, “What is the ultimate goal here?” It is so scary how I can make it about my own personal experiences and my own personal memories and my own nostalgic thoughts – as opposed to what God is doing, who He is, and what He calls me to do as a result of what I know about Him.