Pastor April's Sermon - No Pain, No Gains - 7/03

So, for the past few weeks we have been in a series focused on the Hero’s Journey.  We’ve been looking at a number of Bible characters and characters from children’s storybooks and movies and how their personal adventures and journeys lead them on a journey where they learn new things about themselves – and those discoveries help them to become transformed from the inside out.  

We’ve been using the Enneagram to talk about the different ways that we work through the longings and needs that are a part of being human.  The need to be successful, happy, safe, helpful, etc.

Each of us has a tendency to let certain needs drive our behavior more of the time and so the people whose lives we will explore today were both likely 7’s on the Enneagram.  King Solomon and St. Francis.

 

7’s have the need to be happy.  The type is called the Enthusiast because 7’s often have lots of things going at the same time.  They are driven by the desire to find contentment and enjoyment of life

 

We are going to start with some scripture from King Solomon.  Solomon, who was the son of King David, lived in Israel in the 10th century BCE and reigned for 40 years.

According to the Hebrew scriptures - Solomon built up the Kingdom to its wealthiest, most powerful and prosperous state of all time.

 

The first temple was completed during his reign along with many other building projects.

He was known for the excess that he had – 700 wives and 300 concubines,

And Scripture says he collected tribute in one year alone of 40,000 pounds of gold.

 

And yet we see in Solomon’s writings – the Song of Solomon, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes – this understanding that the material possessions and power are not really where lives real value is.

 

The first lines in the book of Ecclesiastes read –

Meaningless!  Meaningless!  Everything is meaningless!

 

And so Solomon is this interesting case of a person who both understood that happiness and meaning wasn’t to be found in the possessions and power and status of this Earth and yet – he spent most of his time and energy accumulating and seeking more of these same meaningless things –

 

So we start with a brief Scripture from Ecclesiastes 9 that Gina is going to reflect on

 

SCRIPTURE

 

I really appreciate hearing about Solomon because I think his struggle is so deeply relevant.

 

He wanted so much to find a place of contentment and happiness and peace.

 

And I think he knew that the stuff wouldn’t bring him the happiness that he sought.

 

And I wonder if he was ever able to discover that which he longed for most.

 

Whether he ever learned to appreciate the moment and the present and just be.

 

To not try and acquire but just to allow what is happening now – to be the gift by which God is speaking to us.

 

Kollum art – tell story.

 

I want to read you a story of one of the great saints of the church who has been and continues to teach me about this journey of appreciating and finding joy in the simplest of things.

 

In creation.  In beauty.

In kindness to others.

 

 

What do we see in his life that can help us to simply live and enjoy our own lives?

 

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