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Jeff Austin

Sermon 11/22/09:Here Today - Gone Tomorrow; Is The Pizza Ready Yet?


    Is the Pizza Done? / Here Today - Gone Tomorrow


    Isa 55:12  ‘For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. ‘


          How wonderful would it be to be that joyous?  What brings you joy?


    Praising the Lord?

    Your partner in life?

    Your children?

    Your Job?

    Your friends?

    Your hobbies and recreation?


    Do we derive joy from the same things?


    Where do we derive joy?  Is it something internal, a feeling we bring forth from inside of

    ourselves?  Is it something that is purely external brought on by those things I listed?


    How about acombination of the two?  Joy is something we internalize, making us who

    we are, and then it is shown outside by the interaction of those various things?


    I think it is a combination of inside us and outside us, coming together to make the joy 

    we experience every day.  Let’s look at joy and what it's made of…


    What makes up joy to you?


    What is your totally external joy factor?  Do you fish, hunt,ski, do needlecraft, make things in wood, ceramic, metal, glass?  Does playing a game of touch football bring  you joy?  Maybe a pickup game of basketball or baseball?   Do you sky dive or scuba dive?  Are these things you do for joy?  Is it really joy?


    I submit to you that these things are not truly joy nor do they truly make us happy.  I know, I know Rev Jeff has lost his marbles.  Catching that trophy fish is joy unbounded for you….  I don’t think it  is.  I think that is just a byproduct of Joy.  I think it is how you show joy or externalize the joy that is in you.  Is  it the trophy buck you prize or was it the hunt, the preparation, finding the right target, taking aim and shooting straight? Was it that high yardage tee shot or was it addressing the ball just right, getting the tee at the perfect height, striking the ball cleanly and feeling that solid rocking in your arms and shoulders?  That fish, or buck or long flight of the ball were just the final product.  These are things, things outside of ourselves. Things subject to rust, decay, the ravages of age and use.  I doubt something that ages and rusts away truly brings us joy.  They are transitory.  Yes, they are real as we perceive things to be real in this world, but they are also unreal too.  Do you still have your first fishing pole?  That first golf club?  The first piece of needlecraft you ever made?  I doubt it, if you’ve reached adult hood.  As we grow and age, those early things pass by the way side.  What was so important at any given time, not only is not important but does not even cross your mind in the general course of your daily being.  Do you have that first baseball you ever got?  The one that you thought made you smile and experience joy?  Now some of those things you just might still have. If there are many such things,  than you are a bigger pack rat than I am. For most of us, what was so important to us, especially when we were young,somewhere along the road, they lost their luster, their importance.  We grew up, or moved on or just lost interest.  They were here today – gone tomorrow.


    Let’s look at friends.  Throughout our lifetimes, most of us will have many friends.  Not only will we have friends, but we will have all different levels of friends.  They can range from casual acquaintances to that one person it seems that you have known all your life  Depending on the proximity of a given friend will have a great deal to say about how much you feel about them, how much joy you might derive from their company. Partially sadly, partially through just the course of life, friends go away.


    As we age and mature, friends can go away for any number of reasons. Sometimes you both change and the common ground that initiated the friendship is lost, thus ending the friendship or it fades away.  Sometimes we fight with friends, and being ego driven, grudge holding humans, we cannot let the hurt, disappointment or anger subside.  It may not be at the forefrontof our mind any more.  Hopefully any hurt, disappointment or anger has subsided to the point you no longer dwell on it constantly.  We may not think on it often, but it can and too often does prevent reconciliation.  That friendship is lost forever since either you, your friend or both of you cannot let go of whatever it was that caused the rift to begin with.  Too often the rancor is all you remember, not the cause itself.  You have no memory of why you ceased to be friends,only the feeling or hurt or anger. Regardless of the reason, friends come and go.  Most with minimal pain, but sometimes we lose a friend to accident or disease.  We feel their pain and our own at our loss. We are so often in a hurry to move to the next thing, we lose track of what is right before us.  Too often we miss that time going for pizza, when the most important question was “Is the pizza done?”


    Family is always a closer aspect than any friend.  Blood is thicker than water.  You may not like, talk to, get along with family, but they are always your family.  But in many ways they are just like friends.  The companionship, the shared pleasures, the fights and the anger are all present. How we deal with these human issues shows in our character and our relationship with God.  Too often before you know it, family is here today- gone tomorrow.


    Any one of these things or people, the external things are involved and complex.  Whole series of sermons could be devoted to each aspect of the external.  Maybe in the future I will do some more on where and how we seek joy from outside of us.


    What about the joy within?  Is it the pleasure you get from just being?  Maybe your relationship with your Lord or creator is such that you internalize joy just in being?  I would hope that this is the case for each one of us.  If it is not, or not yet, an internal joy that comes just from being, then maybe it is time for some homework and prayers.  Why is it not inside us?  What in our lives is preventing the joy of being alive, free to worship as we choose and being able to share in God’s bountiful harvest of life not bringing us joy.  Talk to God, talk with yourself, and find out what is preventing you from seeing joy in your very existence.


    Isa 51:11  Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.


    Joh 16:22  And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.


     Find that joy within yourself and you will see and feel the joy in all the things I’ve talked about.  Being at peace with yourself and experiencing that joy in the Lord and just in being, that is the true joy.  That is something that cannot be taken from you.  It is the one thing that is never here today -  gone tomorrow.  Feel that inner joy, then gather around you  all your friends and family and ask,“Is the pizza done?”






  • Pastor Tim Redfern
    Pastor Tim Redfern Greetings, Rev.Jeff, and thanks for a wonderful sermon! I'm reminded of Romans 14:17......"For the Kingdom of God is not about food and drink, but righteousness, and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." It's interesting to notice that the root word of "happ...  more
    November 22, 2009
  • <i>Deleted Member</i>
    Deleted Member WE shall not live by bread alone but by the WORD that proceeds from the MOUTH OF GOD.
    (LUKE 4:4)

    Recently we received word from a minister overseas whose entire congregation spent 2 days in fasting and prayer that the Transit Strike would end in...  more
    November 22, 2009 - delete