Theme: Toy Box #1 – Dolls (Sunday 6 Sept, 2020)
Series: Life Lessons from the Toy Box
Bible Reading: Luke 18:9-14
Preacher: Rev Phil Swain
This week we start a new sermon series looking at profound Biblical principles and promises that we can learn from our childhood toys. Come with Phil as he dives into the toy box and talks about God’s love through the experience of dolls and soft toys!.
Show 2 dolls … one beautifully wrapped up in plastic and scruffy – all dirty and well loved. Both belong to my daughter … both are special … but they are different. One is to be looked at, admired for its beauty. The other is … scruffy. A bit dirty, and if I am honest … smelly.
Which is more loved by Megan?
How can you tell?
The bible tells us that God things that each one of us is special but sometimes we forget that and think that God love for us is conditional on how we act or how we look.
A bit like the Pharisee in the bible reading – when he came before God in the temple to pray he put on a big show. Dressed up, used all the right words, made himself respectable before God … and yet Jesus said that this isn’t what God wants.
So what does God want? In Matthew 6, Jesus tells his disciples that when they pray they shouldn’t use fancy words or make a show of it in front of other people but rather go into your room and just talk to your heavenly father. God wants us to be real.
God isn’t interested in us all nice and pretty with a box around us so he can’t get into our lives. He is interested in being close to us … warts and all.
But some of us sort of think that God can’t possibly love us or want to be near to us when we are dirty and smelly … but God loves us just as we are.
Eg Ray and Betty. Is betty just as beautiful now as she was when she was young. It is about our love and relationship with each other. That is why Megan loves scruffy!
God wants us to come to him just as we are … eg the tax-collector. He was humble and honest and real. He spoke to God from the heart and God accepted his prayer.
Lesson for us … come to God just as we are. Note that if we are dirty from poor decisions God can forgive us and clean us up … all we need to do is come to God.
There is another side to this illustration.
Sometimes we treat God like this doll in the box. Eg God is awesome, holy, mighty … something to view from afar. Something to fear and tremble and never, ever approach. That is why we have this box around him … to keep us separated from this mighty God. But remember that God wants to be close to us
- Adam and Eve in the Garden
- Moses on Mt Sinai
- Ultimately shown in Jesus Christ coming to us.
God wants us to treat him more like Scruffy. Still Holy and Mighty, but also approachable, someone whom we can share life with, our heavenly father who wants us to talk to him, share our thoughts with. Someone whom we can hold close when we are scared. God wants to be part of our live.
As funny as it sounds … God would rather be scruffy that this beautiful doll.
There is a word for this … Grace. The almighty, powerful, holy God wants to be close to us … not because we deserve it but because he wants to. He wants us to come to him and to share our lives, not because we are perfect but to come just as we are.
Why … because he loves us.