School just started a couple weeks ago. One of my least-favorite memories from my school days were the infamous big projects that teachers assign. Somewhere, in some long-forgotten textbook they use in education schools—probably authored by Heinrich Himmler—there is the suggestion that kids don’t learn best from reading books and listening to lectures and taking tests. They need to do some big projects. So we have, for instance, Science Fairs. Here’s a tip for teachers: Kids hate the big projects. We don’t really learn anything. We put it off until the last moment, throw something together, then pray for the school bus to run over us the morning of the science fair so we won’t have to face the wrath we deserve for doing a terrible job. You know which kids DON’T hate big projects? The ones whose parents did the projects for them. So you have little Timmy, who wins the Science Fair. Little Timmy, who can’t even tie his own shoes, has managed to build a working internal combustion engine. He has charts and graphs that look like they were produced by a Fortune 500 marketing firm and a power point presentation narrated by Morgan Freeman. And you stand next to him with some earthworms in a Dixie cup full of dirt, and a few notes written with a sharpie on the back of a pizza box. And here’s the worst part of all: Little Timmy has the nerve to boast and brag and lord it over you and every other third grader that he won the Science Fair. This is infuriating and unjust, because everyone knows his engineer father and graphic designer mother did all the work.
For the last several weeks, we’ve been talking about hope as we've studied 1 Corinthians 15. Our hope is in Jesus Christ. Because of Him, we know where our life is
headed. Our destiny is so incredible, it
by far outweighs the very worst that can happen in this life. Yet if we’re not careful, our hope can turn
into triumphalism. We can become
like little Timmy: arrogant, self-righteous hypocrites who look down on the rest of the world
because we’re headed for Heaven…when the cold truth is, we didn’t do anything
to deserve this hope we have. So what is
the point of it all? What difference
should this hope make in the way we live?
That’s what v. 58 is about. We'll explore v. 58 this Sunday in my sermon, and talk about how our hope should change the way we live.