We remember the things that surprise us, and God reaches us in mysterious ways. Today’s message at Trinity Church from Pastor Jeff Gangel was from 2 Samuel 7 and illustrated how it was not for King David to build a temple to the Lord. That honor would fall to his son, Solomon.
HOLY HEAVENLY HOCKEYSTICKS!!!
(My apologies—just a little experiment. I’ll explain later).
But the message that really stayed with me was sent through the ringtone that interrupted the pastor’s message.
I’m in church, so I guess a confession is in order. I’m starting this post during his message. (There goes another cell phone. Didn’t we all learn vibrate etiquette ten years ago?) Sorry, Pastor Gangel; I promise I won’t make a habit out of it.
But the Spirit is moving, and now we’re standing. This is awkward. At least I’m in the last pew. Now we’re singing. Most days I will sing, but today, I type. God has some people raising their hands. He has me tapping glass with my thumbs. He’s going to get his message out one way and another.
God likes forcing us out of comfort zone. Apparently he wants me to suffer convicting glares of indignation in his house of worship. Actually, no one is really paying attention–thank you Lord for sending me a case that looks kind of like a small Bible.
Sorry. We were praying and he had me stop typing.
Okay, back to the content.
Online marketers take advantage of your attraction to “weird” solutions, odd images, and quasi-subliminal messaging. Simply put:
“They’ve discovered the secret to making you remember.”
I recently watched a youtube video of an aspiring entrepreneur. I was turned off after he mentioned the Law of Attraction and his “third eye,” but about a third into the video, he included a video overlay of the word “bliss” accompanied by an odd sound–like that of a clanging symbol. The interruption only lasted a second, but it had had its effect.
Fast forward and now I’m in church listening to a sermon on 1 Samuel (or was is 2 Samuel? I really should have been paying attention…). A cell phone rings. I’m distracted. I remember being distracted earlier, when I watched that silly video. And then I remembered the entrepreneur. His gimmick had worked, and now I’m writing about him (though I won’t give you his link, lest I cause you to stumble). This is a brilliant tactic because I remember the people who, well, made me remember.
Did my distraction at the beginning have an effect? Will you now picture Wayne Gretzky carving on heavenly ice and slap-shotting a puck past Peter into a net weaved of gold? Do you see the players throwing off their gloves and–embracing each other in the love of God with toothless grins?
You don’t have to use quirky gimmicks to be memorable.
I remember the over-the-top basic training instructor who head-banged to heavy metal minutes before his presentation. I remember my seventh grade history teacher, Mr. Raef (fear spelled backwards) who taught through picture slideshows of his journeys overseas, rather than wrote book memorization. And I remember a squadron commander who held a mock-funeral (hearse and all) during a public nonjudicial punishment hearing to drive home the seriousness of alcohol abuse.
They all create a picture in your mind you will not soon forget. While human beings are gold-medal Olympians of forgetfulness, Jesus was the master at making us remember.
Here are just a few things that shocked people of his day into remembrance:
- Jesus’s treatment of women in antiquity (John 4)
- The wise will be made foolish in their wisdom (Romans 1:22)
- The first will be last and the last will be first (Matthew 19:30)
- His strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)
- We don’t choose him; He chooses us (Ephesians 1:4)
- Godliness is more important than physical training (1 Timothy 4:8)
- Before the world was, I AM (John 8:58)
I’m glad Jesus used substance instead of gimmicky tricks. I will soon forget Third-Eye-Guy and you might forget about Gretzky in Heaven, but we won’t soon forget the revolutionary teaching of Jesus of Nazareth.
I should probably finish by tying this in to 2 Samuel–kind of a repentance of sorts, and to show Pastor Gangel that his message fell not on deaf ears, but planted the seed for another message.
What is your temple?
- Is it wealth?
- Is it status?
- Is it expanding your sphere of influence?
If there’s one thing you should remember, it’s that your job may be to lay the foundation. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Solomon didn’t build the temple by himself.
Be still, and know that he is God.
Yeah. Remember that.
Photo credit: Kreutz /CC BY 3.0 / http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Slapshot.jpg