July 4, 1999

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

You people are like children sitting in the market and shouting to each other,

"We played the flute,
    but you would not dance!
We sang a funeral song,
    but you would not mourn!"

John the Baptist did not go around eating and drinking, and you said, "That man has a demon in him!" But the Son of Man goes around eating and drinking, and you say, "That man eats and drinks too much! He is even a friend of tax collectors and sinners." Yet Wisdom is shown to be right by what it does.

Jesus said:

My Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I am grateful that you hid all this from wise and educated people and showed it to ordinary people. Yes, Father, that is what pleased you.

My Father has given me everything, and his is the only one who knows the Son. The only one who truly knows the Father is the Son. But the Son want to tell others about the Father, so that they can know him too.

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light. [CEV]


1. The desires we have to define the movement of a Spirit which blows where it will are legendary. It is the stuff of control and pride and greed. We will be in control. We will tell God when to jump and how high!

2. The revolutionary and free presence of God takes many shapes and sizes. Just when we think we have it all figured out and stated in a creed, along comes John the Baptist -- along comes Jesus -- along comes you. Who can explain it, who can tell you why; fools give commands but wise ones wait for righteousness to be revealed in its time.

3. It is a heavy burden to try to be in charge of a Living God. But to be an ordinary person (is this Jesus' best description of himself?) is to join Jesus in attempting to simply reveal God as God reveals God through acts of miracle and wonder, here and there. May we be ordinary people, ever alert to the latest revelation of God and not be limited by a previous understanding of God.

Homepage | Sermon Prep