Monday, May 30, 2016

Talk talk

The following is an Excerpt from an ecclesiastical speech I presented, including excerpts from the religious text of the bible: John 17

World War Two. Prayer. Goliath. Us. What do these things have in common? They’re all part of a list.
Now I want to talk more about this idea of lists. Specifically, a list that saves people.

In World War Two there was a list like the one I’m describing. It was called Schindler’s List. Now this guy named Schindler ran a company in Germany. The factory he ran made ammunition that was vital to the Nazis. Except Schindler wasn’t really making ammunition, he was helping refugees to escape. Schindler would deliver lists to guards with names on it. These names belonged to refugees. He said that he needed these certain people to keep his factory running. So the Germans gave him the people on the list to help fun the factory. Then Schindler helped the people escape, and delivered new lists. His was a list that saved lives.
(side note: there's a movie made of Schindler's endeavor. (called Schindler's List) and it's worth it to watch)

There are lots of great lists. Lists at the Temple. Lists like the Book of Life. From these two examples alone, I hope a picture has been painted in your mind about the importance of lists. This is awesome.

All right, another important list. Let’s turn to the scriptures. A very good place to start. John 17 in the Bible. To really appreciate the list described in Christ’s Intercessory Prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane, I’m going to fill a little bit of context.

Close your eyes...or just imagine. It’s peaceful. Quiet. And you’re walking through a beautiful and solemn garden. Then you see a man. There are other people with him. But you recognize the man as Jesus Christ. The son of God. You Savior. And mine. Jesus Christ is before you in the Garden of Gethsemane. Or rather, you’re there with him.
Bidding farewell to his apostles, asking them to stand and wait these final hours, He moves forward to pray alone. Found in verse four of John 17 is--and I’m paraphrasing--Our brother talking with Our Father. He says, “Hey...I’m done. I finished the Work you had for me.”
When we finally go, don’t we all want to be able to say that we, too, finished the mission?

This is leading up to the prayer, and the burden about to be loaded onto the shoulders of our Savior. Spoiler Alert, after the prayer Christ will be betrayed and move literally into the darkest hours. But besides all this pain--which, mind you, the Lord is knowingly walking into--Besides all that, and the ordeal He’s about to go through in the garden, we find ourselves back where my talk started.
With lists.

Again I’m paraphrasing the next several, meaningful verses as Christ prays, “I’m about to go. But there are people that I’m leaving behind. Watch over my friends, who are just outside the garden. Watch over those faithful followers. Help those along that did heed my word. And bless those that will heed thy word.”
Are we on this life-saving list?
Verse nine: I pray for them. I do not pray for the world, but for the ones thou have given me. Because they are yours.

Earlier I mentioned Burdens, specifically the great burden Christ has undergone. The burden of our sins. The physical burden of the cross on his back, the nails driven into his body, and the crown of thorns placed harshly upon his head.

Oh when we hear about this, we cringe and worm in our seats. Crucifixion was a nasty business. And the Romans perfected it to administer pain and agony.

Everybody is going through trials right now. Everybody has their problems. And when we get a glimpse into the trials another is going through, we weep for them. Sometimes we even wish we could take the pain from them. On the road to Mount Doom in Mordor, Sam-wise gamgee to his master, Frodo Baggins, says, “I can’t carry IT--being the one ring of power (and horrible burden)--I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.”

We can’t take burdens away, but we can lift up the people who bear them.
Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are one in purpose. We can join them in that purpose.

So how do we stand as witnesses? What are we to do? How can we stand as a light upon the mountain, when those in the valley below are ignorant of even the mountain’s very existence?

But there’s still hope. There always is with Christ on our side. Someone once said, “This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that he should allow evil to exist, and out of it produce good.”

It is possible, I promise. My pal David in the Bible illustrates this.
In a way, all of us has a Goliath to face. For some, shyness may be their Goliath. For others, education might be a Goliath. For David, Goliath was a very big, dangerous man, who wanted to kill young David.

But no matter who your Goliath is, isn’t it comforting to know you’ve really already beaten him. If we clad ourselves in the armor of God, armor that is stronger and stronger every time you do good, isn’t it great to know that you're part of an army that has already won the battle?

Can’t we fight. Stand as a light. Love our Father in heaven. And face the Goliaths of life?
I’m telling you that you can.

If nobody’s looking up at your light on the hill, pull out your trumpet and shout!

Guys! Life is made up of stories. Which are you telling?

Jesus Christ has a List. There’s a spot on there for you. For me. For everybody!
This list saves lives. Why wouldn’t you want to be on it?

In this honest, truthful Prayer, Jesus pleads with Heavenly Father on our behalf. He prays for his friends.

Verse 12: While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

Verse 15: I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

Verse 20: Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

World War Two. Prayer. Goliath. Us. What do these things have in common? They’re all part of a list.
Now I want to talk more about this idea of lists. Specifically, a list that saves people.

That can save us, if we so desire.

Who’s on your list?

I want to conclude with Verse twenty six of John 17
“And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

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