Sunday, July 04, 2010

As for Me and My House Part 3

All of these ways of looking at the meaning of this one sentence are true. They are as true today as they were then. Whether you have a big house, or whether you have a small house. Whether you have a full house, or you live alone. Whether you rent your home, or you own it. You can make your home God’s home. You can let the Word of God reign in your home.

You can say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”

You can be a leader in your family. Parents, you can set standards for your children. You can say, these are things that we will stand for in this home. These are things that we will not permit. Your commitment to be here today speaks of just such a commitment. When you commit to be here, worshipping and praising here….

You say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”

We can all be in situations like Joshua had been decades before. Where everyone around us are going the wrong way. And we have to make a stand for what is right. And we know we are going to be in the minority. And we know people are going to be angry with us. And we might even be scared. Never the less, when everyone else is doing whatever is right or good in their own eyes, we can look at our lives a little bit differently.

We can say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Generations ago, people came to this country from all over. Many of them came because they loved the Lord, and wanted to worship him as they saw fit. They formed colonies. They began created charters. They may have done well in some ways, and fell short in others. But many of them came to America saying…

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”

Today we desperately need people in our nation like Joshua. Leaders who stand for what is right, even when it is not popular. Leaders who would ask what Jesus would do before they decide what direction to lead us in. Even if it costs them their office for a season, or their popularity. People who are going to stand for the truth, and stand for what is right. People who are not going to have their choices shifted by polls, or who gives them what financial support.

Leaders who say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”

When I think of modern day Joshua’s I think of people like Manute Bol, who died at the end of last month in Olathe, KS. Manute was eulogized in the National Cathedral after his death. Honored with a hero’s memorial in our country. Friends with Senators like Joe Lieberman, he was lauded as one who embodied our country’s values. Yet, he never fought in the military. He was born halfway across the world.

Manute was a son of a tribal royalty in the Danka tribe in Southern Sudan. He was tall. His grandfather was taller, he said, standing at 7’ 10’. Manute was 7’7” tall.

In his teens he was discovered by someone affiliated with basketball back in the United States. He showed a little adeptness for it. They tried to get him in to a Division I program in the states. Rules did not permit. He ended up at a very small college for two years on scholarship, and then went on to play in the NBA. Yet he kept his Lord and his people in his mind, “God guided me to America and gave me a good job. But he also gave me a heart so I would look back.” He said in an interview

He made millions of dollars in the NBA, but held on to very little of it. Instead of hoarding his millions he spent his money reaching out to his people back in Sudan. Building hospitals. Standing for justice for the people in Darfur, even though the people in Darfur used to be mortal enemies of his tribe.

As one person said of Manute, “Most NBA cats go broke on cars, jewelry & groupies. Manute Bol went broke building hospitals”

In the 90s they told him he could have a cabinet post in the government in Sudan if he would simply become a Muslim. He said no. “I WILL NOT. I AM A CHRISTIAN!” He said.

So they tried to deny him the opportunity to return to his home in America. He ended up in exile in Egypt for a year, until several congressman found a way to get him back into the country.

He ran out of NBA money, so he made himself a laughingstock to support his ministry with the Christians in the Sudan being persecuted by Muslims. He took his 77 and 225 frame to a hockey game for thousands of dollars. His thin frame boxed with William the Refrigerator Perry to help more people as they laughed at him. He became the tallest horse jockey ever to support his outreach.

He kept standing for Jesus, working for Christ, returning to Sudan. On the last time he went to Sudan he got a skin disease that burned his mouth, lips, and part of his throat. He couldn’t eat. He had a kidney disease. He died, in part at least, as a martyr and missionary to his own country and to ours, in a hospital bed in Suburban Kansas City.

He said “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”

We will spend our lives loving and serving others. We will refuse to betray Christ, even when offered great amounts of political power. Manute said, “I will be laughed at so that I can love others.” I will use my wealth to help my people. I will use my voice and my stage to stand up for the freedom of my people, and people that were once my enemies, but are now my brothers in Christ.

Manute LIVED, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord”

Today, we have the opportunity to renew our covenant. We come to the table of God. We take the bread and the cup. We remember the body and the blood. And we are asked, once again, to make a choice to form or renew our covenant with the Lord. We come to this table to answer the question,
“Who will you serve?”

I hope you will say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

No comments: