Posts Tagged ‘Seinfeld’

Sermon for 08-28-11: “Roman Road, Part 11: Great Sadness and Constant Pain”

August 24, 2011

Part 11 of our sermon series on Paul’s letter to the Romans focuses on evangelism. Who needs it? The answer: everyone! The gospel, which literally means “good news,” is good news for the entire world. If we’ve experienced it as such, why would we not want to share it with others?

Paul felt “great sadness and constant pain” as he thought about how his people—his flesh-and-blood fellow Jews—had rejected the gospel. Do we feel at least a little of that same sadness and pain as we consider “our people”—whoever they may be? 

Who do we know within our own circle of friends, family, co-workers, and fellow students who need to experience the gospel as good news in their life? What is the Holy Spirit calling us to do about it?

Sermon Text: Romans 9:1-5

The following is my original manuscript.

I recently heard an episode of public radio’s This American Life, whose theme for that week’s episode was break-ups. The romantic kind of break-ups—breaking up with someone you love or used to love, and how difficult it is. A young writer named Starlee talked about how she had her heart broken—she was utterly devastated—when her boyfriend—the person she was made for, her soulmate, the person with whom she should be spending the rest of her life—dumped her. She was head-over-heels in love with the guy. Looking back on the relationship, she said, “It was hands down the corniest relationship I’ve ever been in. And by ‘corniest,’ I mean ‘greatest.’”

Among other things, the two of them developed a love for singer Phil Collins. It started as sort of an ironic thing, but after while they were convinced that Phil’s many love ballads were practically written to describe their love. If you like ’80s music, you’ll appreciate that when her boyfriend dumped her, the last words that Starlee spoke to him were, “How can you just let me walk away? I’m the only one who really knew you at all”—paraphrasing lines from his song “Against All Odds.” Read the rest of this entry »

A couple of links for tomorrow’s sermon

August 20, 2011

In tomorrow’s sermon over Romans 9:1-5, our focus is on evangelism. I’m going to be referring to this episode of Seinfeld, in which Elaine discovers that her boyfriend, David Puddy, is a Christian. He’s never mentioned it before. Worse, he believes that Elaine is going to hell, and he hasn’t done anything to try to change that fact.

The theology represented is terrible, of course—filled with caricatures about Christianity. But the episode does capture some truth about contemporary Christians’ failures to witness to their faith. The money line here is Elaine’s protest, “I’m not going to hell, and you think I’m going to hell, you should care that I’m going to hell!”

I’ll also be referring to this very funny and entertaining episode of This American Life, in which a writer tells her story about a devastating break-up, and how Phil Collins helped her through it.

“A Festivus for the rest of us!”

December 5, 2009

In tomorrow’s sermon, I’m going to mention this Seinfeld-invented Christmas alternative. Do any of your family Christmas gatherings seem like unintentional Festivus celebrations?