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Quote from May 15 Sermon

May 27, 2011

Donovan Drake tells the following story:

I remember back when I was a youth minister. One of the parents of our youth had the desire to show the rest of the youth what the real world was like. It was a lesson in world economics. The idea was simple. We would gather the 30-plus youth in the fellowship hall and present to them a feast. But before the kids were allowed to eat, they would be divided into groups representing the size and wealth of the people in the world. Two kids were selected to represent the economically wealthy nations of the world, and those two received one hundred dollars in play money to share between them. It was more than enough money to fill their plates up with anything on the menu: steak and potatoes; hamburgers; fries; dessert; soda. Ten more of the youth were selected to represent the less wealthy of the world, and they were given forty dollars of play money to share amongst themselves. Well, that could still buy some food, but they would have to share and agree what they wanted and then receive smaller portions. The twenty or so who were left well you guessed it-they would receive only a few dollars and really the only thing that would be affordable and easy for them to buy and divide would be rice!

The parents worked hard setting it all up and presenting the program. They set up all the food; one of the parents sat at the end of the chow line as a cashier at the World Bank. It would show the kids what the real world is like. Make them aware of their blessings.

And so the program got underway. The two from the rich nations got up. “See those two rich people. See how much food they’re getting.” The next group went up. “Look kids, they’re not getting nearly as much. They are going to have to share! Okay now, you who represent the rest of the world. What are you going to do? How are you going to feed yourselves?”

Well, they went through the food line filling up their plates. “Look guys, you can’t fill up your plates, and you don’t have money for it. Now don’t make us make you put back your food! You don’t have the money!” And with plates full one by one they came to the cashier handing her a huge wad of bills. What?

What happened was that one of the youth had been tipped off in some way to this great world experiment and had found the play money we would be using for this event on my desk, and he photocopied it and shared it with all who represented the poor in the fellowship hall.

I could have killed him…

Those who were supposed to receive rice were filling their plates, picking up hamburgers and hotdogs, slaw and baked beans. They even bought the white table cloth and the candelabra from those who were sitting at the table set for the rich.

I could have killed him…It was supposed to be a lesson on the real world!

One of the parents shook his head and said, “Just look at this hall.”

And I did, and there were all those youth, laughing and smiling and throwing the money in the air, giving and receiving, shaking their fists at the world order. I had to shake my head, too, and smile and laugh.

No, this is not the world as it is now. But it is the world as it could and should be. It is new creation breaking in, like making a landing in enemy territory, or an oasis in a desert. It is our privilege to live together in such a way that we show the world the Good News of God’s love.

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