Holy Trinity Lamorbey

11th July 2004

Itís Obvious, isnít it?
[Junior Version. See also Adult Version No. 292]

Parade Service

ĎItís obvious, isnít it?í

How often have we said that to someone, or had it said to us? Fairly often is my guess.

Itís another way of saying Ďthereís no room for disagreement; seeing is believing; therefore what Iím saying must be trueí

Itís obvious, so itís true.

But is that always the case? Think about this:

Suppose youíve been offered two different jobs. Call them Job A and Job B.

Job A offers a salary of £10,000 a year with a rise of £1,000 each year Ė £11,000 in Year Two, £12,000 in Year Three and so forth.

Job B offers a salary of £5,000 every six months with a rise of £500 every six months Ė £5,500 after 6 months, £6,000 at the end of a year and so forth.

Now suppose the work in Job A looks far more interesting than in Job B. Which one would you go for?

Well Job A, of course, because they both pay the same, donít they? £10,000 a year and £1,000 rise. Itís obvious, isnít it?

But hold on a moment! If you work it out youíll find they donít pay the same at all!. After five years, Job B will have paid you £12,500 more than Job A! If you want to see this worked out on paper, itíll be on the back of the copy of this sermon which I shall be giving out afterwards.

So whatís obvious isnít necessarily true! Often, of course it is; but not always. We just canít afford to take it for granted that Whatís Obvious = Whatís True.

For instance, most of us take it for granted that when we go home to Sunday dinner thereíll be food on the table. But that is based on a number of assumptions. Firstly that someoneís done the shopping. Secondly that the gas or electricity supply has remained on. And thirdly that whoever usually does the cooking in your household is there to do it. It only needs for one of these assumptions to be wrong and the dinner wonít happen as usual. For example, lots of places across Southern England had no electricity after Wednesdayís storm. Or go into the casualty department of Queen Maryís hospital at Sunday midday and thereís likely to be someone there whoís had an accident (or their child has) which means that they canít do the cooking. One Sunday, many years ago, we got back from Church and the dog had eaten the Sunday joint!

Itís really not so obvious after all, is it? Some of the worst mistakes in life are made by people who believe something Ďbecause itís obviousí

So how do we prevent ourselves from making that mistake. Well Jesus taught us to say to Our Father Ďgive us this day our daily breadí and Christians from the very beginning have got into the habit of saying Grace (or Ďthank youí) to God for the food they are about to eat. Little habits like this are a wonderful safeguard against taking things for granted. This service is called the Eucharist, which is another word for ĎThank youí. When we come together Sunday by Sunday itís because we donít take things for granted, least of all where God is concerned. We thank him not only for Ďour creation, preservation and all the blessings of this lifeí but for his Ďlove in the redemption of this world through our Lord Jesus Christ, for the means of grace (the Eucharist, in this case) and the hope of gloryí (Ďto have been made able to glorify God and enjoy him for everí).

So next time you find yourself saying ĎItís obvious isnít it?í just hold everything. Whatís obvious isnít necessarily true. Let me end with another example:

Imagine a belt fitting tightly round the Equator of the earth. It would be about 25,000 miles long because the radius of the Earth is about 4,000 miles.

Now imagine that you cut the belt and splice in an extra length of six feet. The belt will now form a ring round the Equator rather like one of the rings of the planet Saturn.

What do you think would be the gap between the Earth and its new belt? Just a fraction of an inch? It must be so because itís obvious. Six feet compared with 25,000 miles is a minute amount.

Well, youíd be wrong. The gap would be nearly one foot high! You or I could squeeze through that gap with ease. Not so obvious after all! So donít letís get things wrong about God. Thereís far too much at stake!

 

Here are the workings of the two questions

 

Payment at the end of:

Job A

Job B

     

6 months

 

£5,000

1 year

£10,000

£5,500

1.5 years

 

£6,000

2 years

£11,000

£6,500

2.5 years

 

£7,000

3 years

£12,000

£7,500

3.5 years

 

£8,000

4 years

£13,000

£8,500

4.5 years

 

£9,000

5 years

£14,000

£9,500

TOTAL

£60,000

£72,500

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