A Tiny Little Jesus For Tiny Little Lives?

Text: Luke 21:25-36

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Without even realizing it, you and I tend to build little predictable worlds. For example, we live in a familiar house or apartment. Then we go to the same grocery store, the same place of work, and the same familiar restaurants. That is right; we create routines for ourselves. We watch the same shows each week and talk to the same people. Our lives are kind of like a familiar maze that we know how to walk through. Sure, from time to time, there will be twists and turns in the maze, but in the end, we ultimately know how to get through the maze. 

Indeed, our predictable routines, well-known places, and familiar people are all a part of the worlds that we create for ourselves.  

Now, we might think that this is due to living in rural North Dakota; however, even people in large cities do the same. They divide out a small part of the large city and make the small community into their own little predictable world.  

And people who like to travel? Even though they may travel the world, more often than not, the world that they travel is kept really small. They only travel to tourist areas that offer the same conveniences and same customer care regardless of the country and continent.  

Dear friends, think about this for a moment. We like to keep our world small and controllable because we do not have the mental energy or the endurance to live in a big world with big problems.  Indeed, you and I do not have the ability to live constantly, aware of everything in this world that threatens us. If we were aware of everything in this life that threatens our very existence, we would be unable to function normally.  

And so, it makes sense why we carve out little predictable worlds. We exchange the chaos of a big world for the peace of a small world. We exchange the unpredictability of a big world for the predictability of a small world because deep down we want to feel in control. 

Now, if we are lucky, our little worlds will serve us well. We will be able to function with relative ease without having to spend a whole lot of time struggling with the fear of death. 

But as you already know, our little worlds are never perfect. There are things in this life that hit us like a ton of bricks. Things like: cancer, getting fired from a job, a friend getting into a car accident; a house burns down, the stock market crashes; or, a hundred other things.  The point being, there are big things that hit us and show us that we are not in control. 

Keep in mind, though, that these big things are not small problems that cause us to take another route in our maze. No, the big things are the things that come crashing into our little worlds and leave everything in a disaster. They reveal to us that our little worlds are just that – little.   

As a result of everything we have discussed so far, we are obviously driven to utter despair. When our tiny worlds fall apart, the air leaves our lungs, and we are given to dread, terror, and fear. And instead of feeling in control, well… we feel a heavy weight on our innermost being. And instead of being sober, alert, or aware of life, well… we become paralyzed with dread and crippled with fear.  

Sometimes we may even run to gluttony and drunkenness to offset our fear and dread. We think to ourselves that it is better to eat, drink, and be merry than suffer from paralyzing fear. But in the end, this does not help either, for it only produces a headache and stupidity, and then we are left feeling sick with the fear of death remains.  

So, where do we go from here?   

What I am describing to you is what Jesus talks about in our reading from the Gospel of Luke. Jesus tells us that there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars, as well as roaring and tossing of the sea, which will cause anguish and perplexity on the earth. 

These things will show mankind that mankind is not in complete control. The signs point to the end. In other words, Jesus says that there will be things in this world that cause people to freak out. People will act like they are lost and afraid.  

But for you, dear Christians, Jesus says that when these things happen, you shall not be crippled in fear. You shall not act like you are lost and afraid. You shall not become weighed down with crippling fear.  

You see, whether it is cancer, a car crash, a tornado, or an earthquake, all of these destructive things not only create chaos in our lives but also fear. And that makes sense, especially if we have spent the majority of our lives trying to escape chaos, fear, and death by creating our own little secure worlds. But that is where you are different from the rest of the world, dear Christians. The world will grab hold of their tiny worlds and then gaze with helpless terror into the events and signs of life. They may become so fearful that they run to the bottle to suppress their fear. Or, worse yet, they will become irrationally intoxicated with fear itself. But not you, dear Christians; you will do the exact opposite.  

Jesus says to you and me that when these signs happen, that we are to stand with our chins up, and look away from the uncontrollable signs to hope itself. Yes, these signs are to make you and me stand with hope, knowing that Jesus is coming back again to make all things new. Even if our little world comes completely apart at the seams, you and I shall not fear, for the Lord comes to us not with another tiny world but with His everlasting kingdom of redemption.

Frankly stated, our Lord is bigger than our little world, and He is bigger than the whole world that we often hide from. And so, we need not fear. We need not fret.  

Tragically, some American churches really mess this up. For example, they teach that Christians need to take a tiny little Jesus and make Him a part of their tiny little lives. They speak as if we need to make room for a tiny little Jesus in our tiny little predictable worlds.  

What hogwash! What filthy and pathetic and wimpy theology!  

My friends, hear this loud and clear! We do not need a tiny Jesus to come into our tiny little predictable worlds and give us tiny little comfort! No! We need to realize that Jesus is bigger than our tiny predictable little worlds, and is even bigger than the large unpredictable world we often hide from. That is right; all the sin, calamity, terror, threats, diseases, wars, attacks, and troubles of the big bad world are certainly bigger than you and me but make no mistake, they are smaller than our Jesus. They are smaller than His kingdom of redemption that draws near to us.

And so, when these signs occur; when these signs wreak havoc on us, do not put your heads in the sand and do not run into your tiny predictable worlds, for they are a bubble that will eventually pop, leaving you naked and afraid. But instead, hear the Gospel! 

Chins up!  Listen! When bad things draw near that, look to the One that is bigger than your little world and certainly bigger than this so-called mighty world.  When all hell seems to break loose, stand tall with your heads high, knowing that you are not alone, but Christ has come and will come for you again. 

Behold, your Jesus has come to you to forgive you of all your sins, to chase away your fear, and promises to come on the Last Day to raise you and all believers unto life eternal.  And so, do not fear Baptized Saints!    

Today, lift up your head. Lift up your hearts. Chins up! Salvation draws near to you despite the events, chaos, and uncertainties of the world.   And no matter how bad it gets, these events and signs cannot chase your Jesus away, for He will never leave you or forsake you.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

CLICK HERE to 'Like' on Facebook
CLICK HERE to 'Follow' on Twitter
CLICK HERE to Subscribe on iTunes
CLICK HERE to Subscribe on Podbean