Sermon Summary, “Life of Meaning: Chimp(s)” June 19, 2016
Ever been to the zoo? You may find clues to a life of meaning at the Chimp cage. Picture a cage with a single chimp, then another with two or more. An observer might day, “One chimpanzee is no chimpanzee.” Chimps need one another to be chimps.
I have to admit to choosing lonely professions. The military is highly competitive and frequent moves make it difficult to make close friends. My Uncle chose an Air Force career and to this day his trusted friends are the ones he made 65 years ago at Annapolis. I can say that my best friend remains by college best friend. We need to cultivate friends.
We need friends to talk to confide in to work things out. And different friends give us a different perspective. I have an acquaintance, Greg, who in testimony tells that it was his Christian small group that saved his marriage. Another who was head over heels in love and told his Dad, his best friend, that he was leaving his wife. It was the only way he could be happy. His Dad told him “You have no right to be happy. Now get your butt back home and put your marriage back together.” Guess what? He did and he was happy. Intimate friends can enrich your lives and yes, they can also change the direction of your lives.
John Wesley knew that we needed others, friends, to share with and to keep us accountable. If you were a Methodist, you were part of a small group. For young people, by gender. Young men and woman have different problems. Would my friend Greg above have mentions marriage issues in mixed company?
As we age, our circle of friends diminishes. On other fried we can rely on is Jesus. We can share everything with Jesus. And why not, he knows everything already! The Bible has much to say about friends. Jesus had friends, twelve, and an inner circle of close friends, Peter, James and John. “Jesus wept” as he approached the tomb of his friend Lazarus. The overarching theme of the Bible is love. Love requires friends.
Who do you have a cup of coffee with? Are you cultivating your friendships? Be intentional. How about with Jesus? Schedule a coffee time with him, ask him about his life events, baptism, temptations. Have him ask you about your thoughts, too.
What does it take to be truly human? The first thig is to Belong to People, a few people that are intimately and permanent part of your lives. A life without such people might be rich in other terms, but in human terms it is no life at all. Belong to people.