Monday, March 29, 2010

The Story of Flesh, Faith & Heart (Jer 17:5-10)

Middle of last nite, I suddenly remembered the cute little illustration that was preached by Pris in Homiletics class last sem on Jer 17:5-10. Last sem, in Homiletics 1 class, we are assigned to preach 10min homily and we "creatively" try different style and method of preaching .. and here is one post modern style done creatively with great sound and visual effects ....

This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:5-10)


Once upon a time, there were three good Methodist friends, Flesh, Faith and Heart. They loved doing things together, including worshiping, eating, chit-chatting, studying and even drinking. Flesh, Faith and Heart had one thing in common. They had a mission to climb Mount Trinity.

“Wow, this looks like a really steep mountain!” said Faith. “People take at least three years to climb it!”

“Yes it is!” said Flesh. “We’ll need lots of strength to get up there, so I’ve brought with me red bull and lots of ‘bao’ from our cafeteria. Don’t worry, I’ll help you guys!”

“Ooh, I don’t see how difficult this could be. We’ll definitely reach the top in no time!” thought Heart, still feeling a bit doubtful of the climb.

The first half of the gradual climb upwards proved to be quite effortless to the three good friends and all three of them were beginning to look forward to reaching the top. In fact, they even had time to stop for a few house parties and drinks.

However, as they went along, to their surprise, the mountain took a sudden change in its gradient and became steeper.

“Oh dear! I know I’ve spent months training for this climb but I don’t know if I can make it all the way to the top!” (Faith)

“Hang in there Faith! Look at my muscles! I still have lots of strength to help you get up there. You can depend on me!” (Flesh)

“Thank you Flesh! You are a good friend! I knew I could rely on you!” (Faith)

“Hey guys, I think I’m tired. Could we rest for awhile? I’m starting to feel unsure if we can even make it all the way to the top….” (Heart)

“No, Heart, if we stop, we’ll find it hard to continue to the top. I believe we can do it! I trust in Flesh!” (Faith)

So the three friends trudged on, hoping to accomplish their mission up to Mount Trinity.

Suddenly, Flesh collapsed.

“Heerrr heeerrr, I can’t breathe! My chest feels tight!” (Flesh)

“Someone! Help!” (Heart, frantic)

“Look, Heart! I see an Old Man coming this way!” (Faith)

“Sir, could you help us? My friend Flesh is sick! I thought he was so strong! Looks like we can’t rely on him!” said Faith.

“Let me take a look,” said the Old Man. “Ahhh…Your friend looks fine physically but seems to be suffering from an asthmatic attack.” “Instead of always having coffee and American Club cheesecake, I’ll give him a few puffs of my Holy Word and he’ll be fine. However, he must watch not to rely too much on himself or he might need to apply for special leave. I think he should stay close to me.”

“Thank you so much sir! We were actually on our way to the top. Could you help guide us up instead?” (Faith)

“Sure, it would be my pleasure, but you’ve all got to follow me closely and do what I tell you. The next quarter o

f the journey will not be an easy one.” (Old Man)

“Yes we will!” said the three friends excitedly.

As they made their way upwards with the help of the Old Man, they were met with a number of obstacles like the garden of Ethics and all its reports; the poisonous readings tree and the heavy rain of Cs and Ds. But the wise Old Man brought them through each one of them, step by step.

Finally, on the last mile, Heart saw a sign which said “Short Cut, to the top” and nudged his friends to come take a look.

“No, Heart! Remember the Old Man said to follow whatever he said? We mustn’t stray away,” said Faith. “He has brought us so far, so we can trust him to bring us on the last mile!”

“Come on Faith, this short cut looks so much easier to go. I won’t deceive you!” said Heart. “Maybe, the Old Man forgot to tell us about it. We’ll definitely reach up there faster and still get to see the beautiful sight from

the top. Wanna give it a try?”

“I’m in!” said Flesh. “Heart is not deceitful. And besides, it’s more comfortable to climb upwards without having to stick so close to the Old Man.”

“Well, it’s quite tempting but I think…you should count me out. I’d rather trust the Old Man.” said Faith.

“Fine! We’ll see you up there first!” said Heart, excited to reach to the top first.

The sun was starting to set by the time Faith reached the top of the mountain with the Old Man. However, Flesh and Heart were no where in sight.

“They must have gotten hurt,” said the Old Man. “Going by the short cut without spending enough time with me may have felt easier and may get you to the top quickly. But one may end up in the rocky dry terrain of fear and thorny bushes of uncertainty before reaching. You were wise, Faith, to trust and stay close to me. For only I know the way and I knew that

you might be tempted to take a short cut like your friends.”

“Thank you so much for your help and guidance, sir. I really had an easy climb up even though it was the steepest and hardest of all.” (Faith)

So Faith spent the rest of the time, soaking up the breath-taking view on Mount Trinity, relieved that he had made the right choice to trust in the wise Old Man.

This little story is preached and shared by Priscilla

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