(Some of the ideas I’m sharing in this series came from a message called “Packing Light for the Journey of Life” by Pastor David Dykes in Texas).
I think that one of the greatest television shows ever produced was the Andy Griffith Show. One of my favorite episodes is called “What’s Your Hurry?” about the folks of Mayberry going to church. This particular Sunday, Aunt Bea was excited about hearing visiting preacher Dr. Breen. Andy and Barney are seen sitting together. Dr. Breen is talking about slowing down and taking it easy. In his sermon he says, “Consider how we live our lives today. Everything is run, run, run. We bolt our breakfast, we scan the headlines, we race to the office. The full schedule and the split second: these are the gauges of success. We drive ourselves from morn to night. We have forgotten the meaning of the word relaxation. What has become of the oldfashioned ways, the simple pleasures of the past? Who can forget for example, the old-fashioned band concert at twilight on the village green? The joy, the serenity of just sitting and listening. We should strive to recapture this simple innocent pleasure. … And so I say to you, dear friends, relax, slow down, take it easy.”
The preacher’s soft voice is so soothing it is putting Barney to sleep. Some of us are familiar with that experience. First his eyes begin to cross, and he fights to stay awake, until finally his head drops to his chest. At that moment, Dr. Breen raises his voice and shouts, “What’s your hurry!?” Barney jerks awake.
That afternoon they are all sitting on the porch rocking after Aunt Bea’s delicious Sunday lunch. They start to talk about the sermon and decide they will put it into practice. Before you know it, they are making plans to reassemble the town band, rebuild the bandstand and repair all the band uniforms. As you might expect, they get in such a hurry trying to slow down that by the end of the afternoon they are all worn out and exhausted.
It’s a message that our fast-paced society needs to hear today: SIMPLIFY. In Luke 9, Jesus is teaching His disciples to keep it simple by trusting in God. The old medieval saint, Thomas á Kempis wrote, “By two wings man is lifted from the things of earth: simplicity and purity.”
When you look at the life and teaching of Jesus, you learn He was the master of simplicity. He could take the complex and boil it down to a story, or a phrase, or a word. This series will look at some simple directives for disciples from Luke 9. In this chapter Jesus sends out the twelve on a mission and He gives them some simple instructions. Over the next few days we will hear from Jesus:
- A simple authority for the mission.
- A simple approach to ministry.
- A simple attitude toward things.
- A simple act to deal with failure.
Have you felt a need to slow down and simplify?
Here’s a trivia question: What was the name of the church Andy, Barney and Aunt Bea attended?