July 5, 2020
Parable For The 4th of July (author unknown)
Once, in the 1820’s, a little boy called Sam was playing in the yard behind his house. During his pretend fighting game, he knocked over the family outhouse.
Now Sam was upset and worried that he would get into trouble so he ran into the woods and didn’t come out until after got dark. When he arrived back home, his pappy was waiting for him. He asked suspiciously, “Son, did you knock over the outhouse this afternoon?”
“No, pappy,” Sam lied.
“Well, let me tell you a story,” said the father. “Once, not that long ago, Mr. Washington received a shiny new axe from his father. Excited, he tried it out on a tree, swiftly cutting it down. But as he looked at the tree, with dismay he realized it was his mother’s favorite cherry tree,” his pappy paused.” just like you, he ran into the woods. When he returned, his pappy asked, “George, did you cut down the cherry tree?” George answered with, ‘Father, I cannot tell a lie. I did indeed chop down the tree.’ Then his father said, ‘Well, since you were honest with me, you are spared from punishment. I hope you have learned your lesson, though.’ So,” the Sam’s father asked again,” did you knock down the outhouse?”
“Pappy, I cannot tell a lie anymore.” said the little boy. “I did indeed knock down the outhouse.”
Then his pappy father spanked Sam boy red, white, and blue. The boy whimpered, “Pappy, I told you the truth! Why did you spank me?”
Pappy answered, “That’s because George Washington’s father wasn’t in the tree when he chopped it down!”
I found this parable online ... not in the Bible. It made me laugh .. Hopefully you did too! But then I thought about the sermon from 2 weeks ago. We can not change our stand unless we change our seat... the view from our seat determines what (and how) we perceive a situation! Certainly, the view from the father’s seat in this story is a different view than the son’s!
So today ... as we celebrate the birthday of America take a look around. The view doesn’t look the same as in years past for most of us. Gatherings are smaller, parades, fireworks, and celebrations have been cancelled, and all of that change, that loss of tradition - takes us out of our comfort zone.
But I challenge you today to look around. Take time to get in a different seat today. Get in the seat of someone who may not experience the day in the same way you and your family have done... who is new to this freedom? New to the freedom found in Christ? New to the community? New to an unexpected life change? Reach out. Make a difference.
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8.32 Celebrate the freedom found only in Christ ... with someone who needs to hear that. 2 Corinthians 3.17 16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July! See you on Sunday!