The other day I was catching up on the ‘One’ series they did and the a side point was made about how satan does subtle things to get us off course. The way Matt (pastor Matt) illustrated it was to make an example of changing the time on someones clock by 15 minutes. They probably wouldn’t notice when they woke up but it would be enough to make them late. If it was off by an hour they might notice because light and dark can completely change in an hour, but 15 minutes would be subtle.
The point was to equate that example to how satan puts subtle temptations in our life to cause us to fall in to sin. An example in context of a subject I’ve discussed on here is how satan might not put a real person in your path to tempt you in to a cheating relationship but he might put some porn in front of you that doesn’t seem as bad to you. Next thing you know you’ve sinned and sin is sin. It doesn’t matter if it’s as seemingly harmless as seeing a nudy picture or as wreckless as having an affair. Both are sin and sin is sin.
I thought the subtle time change was a very good illustration. It was easy to imagine someone becoming majorly frustrated because they show up 15 minutes late for work or school and can’t seem to figure out why. The effectiveness of that illustration on me got my odd little brain thinking…
What if a church did that illustration literally rather than just saying it on stage. That wasn’t the main message RBCC was trying to teach that day so it wouldn’t have been appropriate, but what if the message was primarily about how easy it is to drift in to sinful behavior? Couuld the clock analogy be done literally to prove the point?
I think it could. I’m thinking of how NewSpring does things with their atrium depending on what the current message series theme is. (anytime I think of creativity two groups of people come to mind – NewSpring because I go there and see what they do, and corporate advertisers because I work with them all the time for printing).
So what I’m thinking is there could be big clocks in the atrium at NewSpring with the wrong time, maybe only 10 minutes ahead, and everything happening at NewSpring that day is happening by the time on those clocks. The countdown til service starting would be in sync with those clocks. The band would come out to the time on those clocks and begin playing music…
I think you get the picture. Everyone would be so confused and frustrated. People would be asking each other “Is that time right?” and everyone would be checking their cell phone because the time on those is supposed to always be right, but nobody would know what to believe because the service is starting. People like me would be frustrated because they’re late. I’ll bet there would be some interesting reactions.
By the time all the ‘on time’ arrivers are in the auditorium the person doing the greeting/announcements can come out. People will be thinking they have lost it. Just so they don’t get too mad that they missed all the music the band can do a bit more after the greeting before the preacher comes up. When the preacher comes up he tells the confused audience what they’ve just experienced and leads in to the message that explains the parallel.
I think this would be sooo funny, even if it happened to me, and it would be a great literal illustration of a point. You might be thinking this is a cruel idea. But I remember a service where Perry spent about 15 minutes telling this big ole story about how he met Tim McGraw and Faith Hill at a restaurant and then he made out like he had invited Tim McGraw to NewSpring and he was there about to come out on stage. Everyone stood up and erupted with cheering and applause. Perry laughed for 5 more minutes before he followed that tricky illustration with a sermon that made a point. Is changing the clocks to make people ‘late’ any worse than making everyone stand up and cheer like idiots for someone who wasn’t really there?