Not too long ago, I watched the 1993 movie, “Cool Runnings” with some of the young adults from our church. The movie is about the first Jamaican bobsled team to go to the Olympics held in Calgary back in 1988. The late John Candy plays Irving Blitzer, a former American gold medalist in the bobsled who agrees to coach the team, — and the Jamaicans on the team come to like and appreciate their gruff coach. An affectionate bond develops between them and their relationship grows stronger, even as the team gets better. Later in the story, however, the coach has an old and dark secret that comes out. The bobsled team learns that in a previous Olympics, that earned the John Candy character his second gold medal, he had actually cheated by putting weights inside the USA sled, thus stripping him of his medal and bringing disgrace on himself and the team. One of the Jamaican bobsledders doesn’t understand why anyone who already had a gold medal would cheat to win another. When he gets up his courage, he asks John Candy to explain.
The coach says, “I had to win. I’d made winning my whole life. And when you make winning your whole life, you have to keep on winning, no matter what. A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.”
This Sunday, I am starting a November sermon series on “Giving Thanks.” Throughout the month, we will be taking a look at some selected passages in the Bible on how we can be generous towards God in our giving and our living. Originally, Aaron Atkinson was going to be preaching this Sunday, but with the baby coming this past week, I am going to be kicking off the sermon series instead. Our text will be from Matthew 6:19-24,when Jesus says, “where your treasure is, there may your heart be also.” As we come into this month of November, and the season of Thanksgiving, let’s focus on God, and put our hearts and treasures in the right place.
Quote of the Week
“The heart of the giver makes the gift dear and precious.” Martin Luther
Without quite intending to, Martin Luther changed the course of Christianity and Western history. His 1517 complaint against specific abuses in the Roman Catholic church — a document now known as the 95 Theses — sparked the explosive Protestant Reformation that swept Europe for the rest of the century.