Sermon: On the Busses (Young People's Address)

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Preached on 8th April 2007
(Easter Day (10am))
by Reverend Keith Harbour

  1.  Easter is a new way of looking at life.
  2.  Envelope, what is in it?   It is very rare for me.
  3.  Once I used a bus, I'd forgot what to do on a bus, a new way of life to me.  Buy a ticket, did the inspector still come around?
  4. I'd watch other people see what they did.
    1. Smart Gentleman.   Tucked into his ring.
    2. Elderly Lady.   On top of her basket of shopping.
    3. Nervous Young Man.  Screwed it up, opened it up, etc. etc.
    4. Two boys.   One drew on the window with it.  The other one folded it up and threw it out of the window at some girls.
    5. Young Lady.  Opened her purse and popped it in.
  5. Before I could decide what to do, guess what?  The Inspector got on the bus, he wanted to see all the tickets.  No problem with mine, interesting events further down the bus.
    1. Ring came off, rolled all over the bus floor.
    2. Dropped down to bottom of basket, had to empty it all out.
    3. All mush, impossible to read the printing.
    4. Both boys got of good telling off.
    5. Lots of tickets in purse, which was for today's journey?
  6. A ticket for a journey, life is a journey, do you have a ticket for life?  God gives us a free journey, lots of thing to help us, gifts, qualities, family, friends, other people. What do you do with your life?  It's like what those people on the bus did with the tickets for their journeys.
    1. Tucked in the ring. Ready for anything, all sussed, all worked out, secure and solid.  Then something goes wrong, chaos and confusion takes over, can't cope with life's difficulties.
    2.  On the Basket.  Life's full of interests, lots of things take over, family, club, clothes, sport, the real ‘Meaning Of Life', gets pushed into the background, lost in all the clutter! No time to think what it's all about?  What am I here for?  Where am I going?
    3. Too nervous. Worried, upset.  Afraid of challenge, afraid of change, afraid to get involved.
    4. The boys just treat life as a huge joke, their ticket for the journey was for them to have fun!  Eat, drink and be merry.  Blow anybody else or anybody else as long as I get what I want.
    5. The young lady had a compartment in her purse for everything: for notes, for coins, a nail file and scissors, for photographs, for credit cards, for her driving licence, etc. etc.  And of course a place for her bus tickets.  Many of us are like that.  Life mustn't get too confusing, so like the woman with the purse, we put our life into neat compartments, a place for school, for work, for the family, for entertainment,  for finances (or lack of them), and a place for religion.
  7. Move seats (if you've been coming here at least 10 years),  embarrassing, uncomfortable, disturbing.  Something different, say hello, do you know each other's name, and where you live?  A New Way Of Looking At Things!
  8.  How did people react to Jesus in his life?  But now he'd died and risen again, how did people react?  As I learned on the bus, we are all different and react to life in different ways.
    MARY  she complained to the man she thought to be the gardener, he was really Jesus, then she wept.
    THE WOMEN  Matthew tells us were afraid, and ran away to tell the disciples.
    JOHN  was the quickest runner and got there first but didn't go in the tomb.
    PETER  arrived after John but went straight into the tomb.
    THE GUARDS  were afraid and accepted bribes.
    THOMAS was full of doubt and ridicule at first, but later he too came to believe.
    THE TWO GOING TO EMMAUS  eventually recognised Jesus, and their hearts were on fire.
    Different people, reacting in different ways, they had their lives changed, they began to live a new kind of life because of Jesus.  They found a less selfish life, more caring, full of meaning and purpose with new directions  and a new and eternal destination

  9. THE BISHOP AND THE ACTRESS  The Bishop asks - "How is it that you play to a theatre full of people, and I preach in a Cathedral that is just about empty?"  The Actress replies,  "I tell and act out fantasy as though it is true, you tell the truth but you tell it as though it is fantasy!
    This is no fantasy, it is true, the Gospel of Jesus is not ‘Old Hat' it changed people's lives long ago, it always has changed people's lives, and it still changes lives today, for the better.
  10. Don't be like those on the bus:  Got it all worked out until something goes wrong.  Or too cluttered up with worldly ways.  Or too nervous and timid.  Or like the boys, just want to have a good time and blow everyone else.  Don't put your religion in a little compartment, hidden it away until next Sunday or the next Baptism or Wedding or Funeral.
  11. Jesus Christ is real, he is alive, he is with us now.  If you let him he can change your life for the better, and keep on changing your life for the better.
  12. At college I was told to always check my sermons between writing them and preaching them.  Could your sermon be preached if Jesus hadn't died and wasn't risen from the dead?      Jesus must make the difference, not just to sermons, but to life. Ask yourself, is your life different, fuller, because Jesus died and was risen?  Do you have a clear direction and a sure destination?

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