Honor thy t-shirt...honor thy bag



My first sermon at Hopewell UMC was based on commandment #5 - Honor Your Mother and Father - a controversial one for a youth minister to start with.

I'm not sure how many of you remember but a large majority of youth act like they don't like their parents.  Some actually don't and the others know that it is uncool to show that you really do like them so for me to actually preach that you should respect your parents could put me in the "preachy" adult category instead of the "cool" adult category.

I actually said this at the start of my sermon but then did something that I consider pure genius.  I described to all of the parents a very real example of why they really are "uncool."

Since I'm a mom, I decided to pick on them first.  I explained how as women mature their handbags do as well.  When you are young you usually start with a toy purse and then graduate up to a trendy bag perhaps with a brand name.  When you get to college you usually transition into a wallet on a string - just to be practical but you also keep your stash of trendy bags for different occasions.  Upon graduation you have reached the level of professional bag that holds purse-like items and a laptop. Mommy-hood then brings on a plethora of diaper bags to choose from.  Once said baby reaches diaper freedom the bag transitions into large purse (because diaper bags are uncool if there are no diapers in them).  The large purse contains a variety of toys to keep said child occupied in any situation as well as the mandatory "germy juice" aka hand sanitizer. (of course if you were a child of the 90's your mom probably just had wet wipes and if you were a child of the 80's or earlier your mom had tissues and spit). Finally you graduate to the old lady handbag.  This is usually a leather-like bag that is not too big and not too small but seems to hold endless things that you might randomly need (like dental floss or a small drugstore).

Not to be unfair - I picked on the men as well.  Men have the evolution of t-shirts.  While it may not be as sophisticated as the handbag evolution it is still telling that men go from rock concert t-shirts to fraternity t-shirts and stay there until the dates on the t-shirts show the world how old they really are.  Then they move onto the final stage which is a plain white t-shirt (that can still tell your age by counting the bbq and pit stains present on said shirt).

Apparently my sermon had an impact.  Not because I had someone tell me that they now had new respect for their parents.  Instead I had someone tell me that they went home to change when they realized they were about to pick up their child in their plain white T and didn't want someone to guess their age.

I may not be able to transform someone's heart, but at least I can transform someone's wardrobe. 

Matthew 6:25
"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

Until Everyone Hears,

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