To be preached in the open air on Saturday (hopefully there'll be thousands coming past). I'll have a board with the visuals to be velcroed up as we go...
"Not just broken but sick."
That's what David Cameron said. And he meant those dreadful rioters
Maybe he's right, do you think? Though perhaps he should have looked behind him when he was making the statement:
“It is a complete lack of responsibility in parts of our society, people allowed to think that the world owes them something, that their rights outweigh their responsibilities, and that their actions do not have consequences.”
Of course 18 months ago MPs were ordered to repay over a million pounds in falsely claimed expenses. Between just 650 MPs that’s quite a lot, isn't it?
As just one example, this man Gerald Kaufman broke parliamentary rules to get £8000 worth of flat screen TV and home entertainment system.
He didn’t wear a hoodie, break a window and carry it out under his arm though. He just fiddled his expenses is all. But, like hundreds of other MPs , he thought the world owed him something and that there'd be no consequences and so he did a smash and grab with his expenses form.
Who can we trust then? Perhaps we trust our police to catch the bad guys?
I'm sure the vast majority do a good job but in the last 6 weeks, 2 of the senior Met Police have had to resign in disgrace amidst allegations of widespread corruption in the force.
Ok so those are the bad people right? There's sick Britain: Rioters, Politicians, Police and Media. But do you notice something about them all? They're all blaming each other [draw arrows between them all].
Everyone's blaming everyone else.
And we're blaming them.
Are we the only ones who are healthy?
Maybe we are the one section of society that's not sick. Maybe we're alright. Do you think?
Maybe we're part of the solution. Maybe we've even picked up a broom and joined the clean up!
Sure, good idea. Clean up the streets, but I tell you, you’re not cleaning up your heart.
I can sweep the streets, but even as I do it I have the same sickness inside me. And it’ll take more than a broom to sweep me clean.
Friends, the bible says you're the same. We're all the same. The problem is not with them over there. It's not those people who are sick. We're all sick.
You and I are well capable of the same violence and greed and corruption as all these people - even as we denounce them! That is the nature of the human heart.
Let me ask you:
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU THOUGHT THERE WOULD BE NO CONSEQUENCES?
The rioters don't feel like they'll be brought to justice. Neither did the corrupt media, police or politicians. They have strength in numbers and feel anonymous, but what about you? What would you do under the cover of anonymity? What would you do if all around you thought it was ok and there’d be no punishment?
Maybe you wouldn’t steal a TV or set a shop on fire, maybe you’d cheat on your partner or cheat on your tax return. If you thought there’d be no consequences, what would you do?
Maybe you wouldn’t run down the streets with weapons, maybe you’d just run from your responsibilities, from your family and friends who need you. Maybe you’d just run into drugs and alcohol cos it’s safe there. Maybe you wouldn’t loot, you’d only rob someone of their reputation. You wouldn’t start a fire, you’d only set a blaze of gossip going. Maybe you’d only do violence to your enemies in your heart. Maybe you'd be consumed with anger and bitterness on the inside. Maybe you’d just content yourself with feeling superior to the nasty people over there – all the while your heart is just as sick.
Not just broken, sick.
Let me tell you a shocking truth: It's good to admit that you're sick. It's good, because Jesus did not come for the righteous, He came for the riotous!
Jesus once walked up to a man who did more than fiddle his expenses, more than take bribes, he was a nasty white collar criminal called Matthew and he was a traitor to his people the Jews. He was hated. He was scum. And Jesus walked up to him and said “Follow me.” Instantly Jesus took him on and Matthew became one of the 12 disciples, he even wrote a book of the bible – The Gospel of Matthew.
What is Jesus like? How does he respond to a sick society?
Well that night Matthew threw a party so that all his mates could meet Jesus. And what kind of mates do you think Matthew had? Criminals, scumbags, sinners. The lowest of the low came. Some were rich, others were poor, but all of them were considered “Not just broken, but sick.”
I wonder what you think about Jesus, the Son of God, hanging out with such low-lives.
Let me tell you something shocking, if Jesus came today He wouldn't spend His time with the righteous but with the riotous. How do you feel about that?
Well in Jesus' day some people got very angry. They gate-crashed the party and told Jesus He really mustn't associate with sick sinners like these. Do you know what Jesus said?
“It’s not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
Jesus is like a doctor.
Who here goes to their doctor and says “I’m a picture of perfect health, I thought you’d be impressed”? Doctors are not impressed by that, doctors are for sick people and Jesus is for sinners. Only sinners.
Are you a sinner? Are you sick? Spiritually sick? Sick at heart? I am. I’m not just broken, I’m sick. I have violence in my heart, I have greed in my heart, I have lust and anger and hypocrisy and jealousy and selfishness deep in my heart. And those rioters with alcohol and peer-pressure and a lack of consequences – you know what they are? They’re me with the hand-brake off.
I’m sick. Are you? I’m a sinner. Are you?
Maybe you were offended when I said that Jesus did not come for the righteous but for the riotous. If you were offended it's because you don't think of yourself as riotous. But the Bible says our hearts are full of anger, rage and malice. Can you admit that, deep down, you're not righteous, you're riotous?
Jesus is the Doctor for the sick. Only for the sick. Don’t spend your time pointing the finger at others. Don’t spend your time thinking, thank goodness I’m not like those bad people. Don’t pick up a broom if you think that by it you can clean yourself up. Confess your sickness: “Jesus I am sick, heal me.”
Jesus is a Doctor for sick sinners. He did not come into this world to congratulate the healthy, He did not come to condemn the sick. He came to heal the sick - that's what a Doctor does.
He did it by taking our spiritual sickness into Himself. He deliberately contracted our terminal illness. On the cross he died the death of sick looters, sick politicians, sick policemen, sick journalists, sick hypocrites, sick me and sick you. That's how much He is for the sick. Then He rose up again and offers to meet you in your sickness – not with condemnation but with healing.
And that’s the only power to change rioters, and politicians and police and the media and you and me.
I’m not just broken, I'm sick. Thank God there’s a Doctor! Call out to Him now to receive His care. And take this Gospel from me to read about Jesus who came for the sick.