Do You Value Your Life? [Sermon]

In 2003 there was a bit of a scandal over guacamole.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest reported that one major food company was producing guacamole with less than 2% avocado.

Another company’s recipe for guacamole contained some avocado powder, but less of that than yellow and blue .

When I was searching for the story I saw a number of recipes for guacamole without avocado.
I guess there is some disagreement about how little avocado can be in guacamole
before it is no longer guacamole.

Let’s go to God in prayer.
God of wisdom, may the words that I speak, and the ways they are received by each of our hearts and minds, help us to continue to grow into the people, and the church, that you have dreamed us to be.
Amen.

Human life expectancy has been increasing.

I did a little research and found that the average life expectancy around the time of Jesus was 20 to 33 years.

Sometimes we misunderstand this to mean that most people only lived to be about 33.
What this really means is that the average life span of all people born is 20 to 44 years, including children who die very young.

A child who lives to be one year old, on average, will live another 34 to 41 years. A child who lives to be five years old, on average, will live another 40 to 45 years. The average 20 year old would live to about 50.

In the USA, the average life expectancy at birth was 77 before the COVID pandemic. It dropped during the pandemic because younger people were dying of COVID, which dropped the life expectancy.
It’s been increasing since then.

But is living many years the only goal?
Is life just an endurance contest?

Is there anything else we should be concerned with between birth and death?

If we are living for more than just to survive, we probably have a sense of who we are.In other words, who we are is at least important as how long we are.

In Matthew 5:13, Jesus is quoted as saying

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?
It is no longer good for anything but is thrown out and trampled under foot.”

Or if the guacamole has lost its avocado, is it really guacamole?

In our reading today, Jesus is quoted as saying

Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Those who love their life lose it,
and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

We can play it safe, but if we play it too safe, we risk not playing at all.

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for” wrote John A. Shedd.

I don’t mean we should be reckless, but we ought to be engaged in making a difference.

We are called not to be passive spectators but active participants in life.

Some people believe in an afterlife, and that how we live this life will affect that future.

Some people don’t believe in an afterlife, and that this life is the one where we have to make meaning.

Either way, there is more to life than achieving a high score in years.

So my challenge to us this week is to examine how we are engaging in life.
Are we safely watching from a distance?
Or are we growing into who God has dreamed us to be.

Amen.


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