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19th Sunday after Pentecost
World Communion Sunday
“The Little Ones”
Mark 10: 2-16
20th Sunday after Pentecost
“Our Dearest Idols”
Mark 10: 17-31
21st Sunday after Pentecost
“Setting Things Right”
Hebrews 5: 1-10
Mark 10: 35-45
22nd Sunday after Pentecost
“Walking with Jesus”
Mark 10: 46-52
Sunday Worship—RUMC -11 am
CPUMC – 9:30 am
“Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained”
Some of you know that I am a fan of Saturday Night Live. I feel that it puts me in the right frame of mind for preaching on Sunday morning. It is odd but true. I especially love their skits, many of which you can view on Youtube.
Last week, while in conversation with Sue and Sung, the topic of Debbie Downer came up. Debbie Downer is the character in a number of skits played by Ratchel Dratch. “Debbie” is a character who dresses in drab colors (brown and tan). Debbie is the extreme version of a pessimist. This character was first introduced on May 1st of 2004, when Debbie’s family visited a Disney Theme Park. Debbie, while being hugged by Pluto, said “It must be fun working here; although the biggest drawback to working at a theme park is that you must live under the constant fear of a deadly terrorist attack”… That’s Debbie Downer, Miss Doom and Gloom.
Have you ever known someone who is a “Debbie Downer?” Ever catch yourself thinking that way. If I were to name a syndrome that identified personality types who take the fun out of life, I think I would call it the “Debbie Downer Syndrome.” The Debbie Downer syndrome is the extreme version of the “Wet Blanket Syndrome.”
Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33. There are lots of other optimistic scriptures that are filled with hope too. The Psalms are filled with many of them like, “But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.” Psalm 52: 8. And, “For You are my hope; O Lord GOD, You are my confidence from my youth.” Psalm 71:5
We are people of God’s Way, we are the people of the Realm of God. It is a way of life that is filled with hope. Even when things are difficult, we are part of a community that understands what it is to be filled with hope. As the Psalmist wrote: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? “
When we encounter disappointment, when the best laid plans don’t work out to our liking, or when long established hard earned programs no longer seem to meet the needs of the people in the way they once did… Remember, we are a part of a community of hope. No Debbie Downers here! We belong to a great cloud of witnesses who have been, and will continue to be, guided by God’s eternal hope. So keep dreaming the dream and live into it. Avoid the Debbie Downer Syndrome. Be optimistic and remember, nothing can be gained for God’s Realm if we are not willing to try new ventures.