February 24, 2020

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Last week's Sermon

February 23, 2020


Matthew 17:1-9

March 23, 2020


“Facing mountains”

Written by Keith C Kraft for the Sunday the confirmation class led worship.


Peter cheerfully: Hi Johnna.


Johnna with no enthusiasm: Hi.


Peter: What’s wrong? You seem a little depressed.


Johnna: Aw, it’s just my parents. They just don’t get it.


Peter: I totally agree, but what is it that your parents don’t get with you?


Johnna: They just don’t get how hard it is to be a kid these days. They don’t understand how hard it is to fit in …how important it is to have other kids like you.


Peter thoughtfully: Yep. Yep. I get you. I understand where you’re coming from.


Johnna: I mean, all I’m asking for is to be able to spend a little more time at the gym. Maybe my classmates would like me more if I was a little better at basketball. Maybe if I was better, I would have more respect with my peers. It just gets so frustrating. Sometimes I just wish my parents understood what I’m dealing with.


James approaching the two carrying a piece of paper in his hand: Did I hear someone say they just wish your parents understood?


Peter: Yeah, we were just talking about how parents just don’t get what its like being a kid today.


Johnna: All I’m asking for is little more time in the gym.


James: Tell me about it. All I’m asking for is a little more “me” time and boy did I get a chewing out this morning from my mother.


Peter: So, what happened to you.


James: Well, I had been trying to play a video game in the family room, but my little brother was being really annoying. He kept bugging me and wanting to play too. I finally got fed up with him and went to my room for a little time by myself.


Johnna: That doesn’t sound so bad.


James: Other than an annoying little brother, it wasn’t. But it got worse. I was just getting really settled into my video game when my mom knocks on the door and tells me that she wants me to load the dishwasher. Well I guess my little brother irritated me more than I thought.


Peter: How’s that?


James: Well, I told my mom that I had just gotten into my room. I was in the middle of a good game and I needed a little bit of time to myself.


Johnna: That still doesn’t sound so bad.


James: It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if I would have stopped there, but I didn’t. I went on to tell her that I would come out and load the dishwasher when I was good and ready?


Peter winching: Ooo …ouch.


James: Yeah. She really blew. When I finally got brave enough to come out of my room, she had left to go get groceries and she left me this note on the table. That’s why I’m here. I decided maybe I should take her advice and take a hike up this mountain.


Peter: Why would your mom advise you to take a hike up a mountain?


James: I don’t get it either. But that is what the note says. The note says that I need to change my altitude.


Johnna: Let me see that. (Taking the note from James): It says, “You need to change your attitude, not altitude.


James: Oh, I guess that makes more sense.


Andrea joins the group: What makes more sense?


Peter: James’ mom thinks James needs to change his attitude.


Andrea: Well, I’d like to change some things. I’m just not sure what.


Johnna: What’s going on with you?


Andrea: Mostly school, it seems like the teachers are demanding so much from us …more homework …pressure to get better grades …more, more, more. I do school work all day and then I get home I have to help with my younger brothers and help mom around the house …and then there’s more homework. It seems I barely have time with my friends. I don’t get to do what I want to do.


Peter: Yep


Johnna: I hear ya.


James: I can relate to that.


Andrea: And you know what? To top it all off as if I don’t have enough stress in my life, now this crazy pastor of mine wants me to help lead worship. What if I goof up? What if I can’t pronounce a word or some Old Testament name? I will be really embarrassed and probably won’t be able to show my face in church ever again.


Peter: Well, I have heard the pastor goof up before. I think he would understand.


Andrea, looking up as if glancing into a tree: Look at that bird. Not a care in the world. Something scares it, it simply flies away.


Pause as if thinking.


Andrea excitedly: That’s it.


Johnna: What’s it


Andrea: A bird. If only I could change into a bird. If I could change into a bird I could just fly away when ever life gets to overwhelming or scary.


Peter: Well, I can’t change you into a bird but I have an idea that just might be the answer for all of us.


James: What’s that Peter?


Peter: Come on. Follow me.


Andrea: Where are we going?


Peter: Up this mountain. Just follow me and I’ll show you.


Johnna: I guess we are all going to change our altitude.

The four of them head up the mountain until they come to a tent in a small clearing.


Peter proudly gesturing to the tent: Ta da.


Johnna: Yeah? So, what’s so special?


Peter: It’s my dwelling place.


Andrea: It looks like an ordinary tent to me.


Peter: Well, it is more than that. It is a special dwelling and it is even Biblical.


James: What do you mean, Biblical? I agree with Andrea. It looks like an ordinary tent to me.


Peter: Well, I get stressed out too. Mom and dad are always worried about paying bills and keeping their jobs. Last spring Uncle Joe joined our National Guard unit and now with all of the unrest in different parts of the country, I’m worried he will have to go to war. Yesterday I was so overwhelmed with everything that I thought I would come up this mountain and build a dwelling.


Johnna: Okay, so you put up a tent. What does that have to do with the Bible.


Peter: Dwelling. I put up a dwelling. I remembered the pastor reading a story from the Bible where Jesus and four of his disciples went up a mountain to pray. While they were up there, they had this kind of odd frightening experience where Jesus changed in appearance and two men from the past showed up. Peter suggested that they make some dwellings. I thought that sounded like a good idea. So, I built a dwelling.


James: So, what are you going to do with this tent …er, I mean dwelling.


Peter: Well, the thought has crossed my mind to just stay up here permanently. At least up here I don’t have to deal with the problems at home.


Andrea: Ok. So, how does that help us?


Peter: I was thinking we could do just like Peter suggested. We could all just stay up here. We have a dwelling. It’s peaceful up here. We can leave our other problems and worries down the mountain.


Andrea: I do have to admit it is pretty peaceful up here. I wouldn’t have to deal with the homework or teachers. And I’m sure my pastor could find someone else to take my place.


Peter: That’s what I’m talking about.


James: Yeah. This is nice. I have to admit I’m not looking forward to facing my mom.


Sound of thunder.


Johnna: I like it too, but I kinda think I’ll miss basketball. Besides, wasn’t that thunder I just heard?


Peter: It might have been. But no worries. We have a dwelling.


James, looking at the tent: Yeah, I don’t think your tent …er dwelling will hold all of us.


Peter: We could make some more.


Sound of thunder


Johnna: Was that thunder I heard again? It sounds like it is getting closer.


James: It was either thunder or my stomach growling. I’m getting kinda hungry.


Andrea: So am I. Besides, I’m not sure your dwelling would stand up to a severe thunderstorm.


Johnna: You know Peter, Jesus did lead the disciples back down the mountain. They did have to come back to the problems and concerns of the real world. But they did get a good piece of advice before they went back down the mountain.


Peter: What was that?


Johnna: The voice from the cloud did say that we should listen to Jesus.


Andrea: I guess Jesus did calm the storm and told the disciples that they needed to have more faith to help overcome their fears. I’ll have to try and trust that Jesus will help me through another school year, and face a pastor who wants me to help with worship.


Johnna: Jesus also taught a lot about love and I know that even as frustrating as my parents can be at times, they do still love me. That’s pretty special.


James: Yeah and Jesus did say that if we had ever done something wrong to someone else that we should ask for forgiveness and try to restore that relationship. I guess I really do need to go apologize to my mom for my rude and obnoxious attitude.


Peter: I know all of you are right that we can’t stay here. I guess I will have to try to make listening to Jesus and trusting in God my permanent dwelling place.


Johnna: That is a lesson we should all try to learn.


Andrea: This is a nice spot Peter. I might use this spot some other time when life gets a little overwhelming.


James: Yeah. This is a good spot to experience a little peace and quiet …a place to pray and listen to God.


More thunder


Johnna: Right now, I think God is telling us we need to get down this mountain and get home before it starts to storm.


Peter: Hey James, look, both you and your mom were right. A change of altitude did help change your attitude. How about that?


James: Pizza can’t hurt either. I think mom said she was bringing pizza home for dinner tonight.