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Sermon 08-23-15: “The Glitch in our Program”

August 31, 2015

Disney Summer Drive-In

In the movie “Wreck-It Ralph,” Ralph mistakenly believes that winning a shiny gold medal will prove his worth, and his quest for a medal inadvertently causes a lot of harm. Are we “real life” humans so different from Ralph? Where does our worth and value come from? What “shiny gold medals” do we think we need to be happy? How does the gospel of Jesus Christ speak to this need?

Sermon Text: Mark 2:13-17

[To listen on the go, right-click on this link to download an MP3.]


In the opening clip, Ralph introduces himself at a “Bad Anon” meeting for video-game villains. He confesses to the group that he no longer wants to be a bad guy, over the protests of other villains who say that Ralph must learn to accept his role. As Zangief, the villain from “Street Fighter II” tells him: “Just because you’re a bad guy doesn’t mean that you’re a bad guy.”

The unhappiest I’ve been in life is when I’ve felt like I’m stuck in circumstances over which I have little control. For example, early in my high school career—the summer between my eighth and ninth-grade years—I pulled out my high school yearbook, and I looked at the senior class from that year—including the “senior superlative” section: you know, here is the young man and woman most likely to succeed, or most intelligent, or funniest, or best looking, or most athletic. And I thought, “I’ll never be any of those things.” I mean, already, having just been in high school for one year as an eighth grader—a sub-freshman, they called us—I saw how things were shaping up, and it wasn’t looking great for me. I could make a change here or there, but mostly I was stuck with the body that I had—the brain that I had, the social skills that I had, the athletic ability that I had. And when I thought about these successful seniors in this yearbook—they had so much more going for them. I thought, “I’ll never measure up to them.” Read the rest of this entry »