This sermon is based on the following scripture passages, which can be read by clicking on the links: Genesis 8:13-22 and Genesis 9: 12-17, Galatians 5:1-26, and John 4:5-42.
I am in the process of developing a four year lectionary that features John’s gospel in Year D. I have plotted out much of this lectionary, but am filling in the details, so to speak, as I work my way through the years. Currently we are reading consecutively through Genesis, Galatians and John. If you want to know more about this lectionary, feel free to contact me by clicking the appropriate tab above.
Two police officers had stopped a car in downtown Milwaukee and ordered the driver to get out from behind the wheel.
The man was obviously very drunk and had a hard time standing up,
much less completing the field sobriety test.
The police were trying to get the man to turn,
lean over and put his hands on the hood of his car.
The man was screaming,
“Hey… I’m an American and I live in America and that means nobody can tell me what to do!”
One of the frustrated, but somewhat amused officers replied,
“Yea, sure buddy… If you can spell American, I’ll let you go.”
The drunk, offended by the reflection on his sobriety yelled back,
“Don’t make fun of me sir… I can spell it borwards and fackwards!”
If there is one thing we Americans love it is the idea of freedom.
But as the story about the drunk illustrates,
for many of us Freedom is just another way of saying that nobody can tell us what to do.
I’d want to suggest that freedom is so much more than that.
We start with Noah.
The flood has ended; the waters have receeded,
and for the first time in 190 days – over six months,
Noah, his family, and all the animals set foot on dry land.
To get how thrilling, how freeing that must have been,
you first have to imagine how horrible, in many ways,
those 190 days stuck on a boat with all those animals must have been.
Can you imagine the smell?
Can you imagine the noise?
One preacher has said that the only thing that helped Noah and his family
put up with all that noise and stench was the storm raging outside the ark.
But now Noah is free . . .free from the ark . . . free from the noise and smells,
and free from the responsibility to save the world.
It is a sweet, sweet feeling this freedom.
It is the freedom an inmate feels when getting out of prison,
the freedom immigrants felt when they arrived in the US and spotted the Statue of Liberty for the first time.
It’s a palpable, physical freedom.
That’s one type of freedom.