Sermon

 

Time and Chance

In 1920 a couple gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Carol was described by her mother: “Mine was a pretty baby, unusually so. Her features were clear, her eyes, even then, it seemed to me, were wise and calm.” While her body grew, her mind failed to keep pace, “I think I was the last to perceive that something was wrong.”

“Then began that long journey which parents of such children know so well. I have talked with many of them since and it is always the same. Driven by the conviction that there must be someone who can cure, we take our children over the surface of the whole earth, seeking the one who can heal. We spend all the money we have and we borrow until there is no one else to lend. We go to doctors good and bad, to anyone, for only a wisp of hope.”

Her journey ended when a German doctor at the Mayo clinic told her the best she could do for her child was to find a comfortable place for her and leave her there and concentrate on living her own life.

She was now estranged from her husband who wished to spend no more money. She wanted to keep her child in a first class institution and realized that she needed to find a way to make some money.

Time would go on. Another woman facing the same problem with her two children would visit Dr. Folling of Oslo, Norway. He discovered an chemical in the urine that should not have been there. This led to the discovery of a phenylpyruvic acid in the urine that was there because of a faulty gene that led to the body’s inability to break down a particular amino acid in their diet.

The disease is PKU and doctors in the 1950’s and 60’s started testing for the acid in the blood and urine and even before the actual mutated gene was discovered could steer the babies to a healthier specific diet that did not include milk and other proteins in which the more severe impacts of the disease were greatly reduced even living nearly normal lives.

Little Carol would live until she was 72, living in a institution specializing in discovering and treating mental defects in children. In 1960 her mother was asked to smell the urine from a child suffering from PKU. She remembered the smell. In 1920 no one knew, by 1960 doctors could take action for a child suffering from PKU.

Carol’s mother would get a $500 grant from a missionary organization to write a Sunday School book for missionaries. This would lead from one writing piece to the next until in 1931 she would write the novel “The Good Earth”, a Pulitzer Prize winner; all to help pay for Carol’s stay in the Training School in Vineland, New Jersey. PKU gave us Carol and her mother, Pearl Buck.

Texts: Eccl 9:11 I returned and saw under the sun that —  The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rev 21:4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

  1. Time and Chance

1 Cor 15:42-49 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.

There is no godly prescription that will insure that we or our loved ones will not be affected by inherited mutated genes or by mutations that affect us as we get older, such as cancer.

I think God uses His people to bless humanity and glorify Himself as we handle the ups and downs of life.

I think of the admonition to forgive. I think of the admonition to endure. I think of the admonition to hope.

Rom 8:18-25 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

  1. Sin, Mutations and Death

Heb 2:14-18 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

The wages of sin is death.

Gen 3:15-19 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” 16 To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” 17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

Thus, the mutation is born.

III. The Glorious Hope

1 Cor 15:26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

1 Cor 15:54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

Rev 21:27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Rev 22:3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Conclusion

Jesus, with a strand of DNA from Mary and a strand from the Holy Spirit, and “we shall be like him”.

Walking on water, multiplying loaves, healing, knowing, loving, communing…It really is a glorious hope.

 

 

 

 

 

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About hansston

Pastor a church in Sparta.
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