2017 Homilies (Written)


Luke 15:1-3, 11-32; 3-31-2019 (As Built; Amite #347)
A. Head up… Head up in other words keep your head up… Get your chin out of your chest…
B. It’s a 1960s his name is Michael… That’s really his name… His name is Michael… As a result of it… Michael is a Pittsburgh Pennsylvania boy… Through and through… He has six brothers and sisters… His mom is the quintessential mom… She can and does do… I mean come on their six kids… Seven really… The truth of the matter is his dad is an engineer… They do OK… I mean they make ends meet… And in high school Michael would tell you and I… He’s kind of a class clown… And I was out of it… He just wants to make people happy… He finally gets out and decides that he’s going to go to Kent College… He would tell you it was the best two semesters of his life… You see when they asked Michael why did you leave he says why just didn’t just leave they asked me to leave… I really enjoyed it… He said man I needed work he said his mom told him look you’re gonna have to work for a living… Pick your head up… Don’t walk around with big limp… Make sure you do what you need to do… Keep your head up stay focused… They are Catholic to their core… Still to this day… As a result of it he gets a job as a taxicab driver… He works at a café… He sold newspapers… He sold a little bit of this in a little bit of that… And he’s making ends meet… And all the sudden he’s getting a little down… He’s running out of money… His mom said look… Keep your head up… That’s the only way you’re going to know which way the good Lord wants you to work… Man he goes and gets of all jobs… He works at a TV station behind the camera… he just points the camera… And of all TV stations Michael is at the one where they film Mr. Rogers Neighborhood… For a year he’s filming him… And him and Mr. Rogers become like best buddies… Mr. Rogers passes away… Michael becomes depressed again… His mother tells him son you gotta keep your head up because you don’t know what the good Lord wants from you… so he goes back to work thinking well that’s pretty much the end of the job… Well because he was so close to him they asked him to do a little documentary on him… In front of the camera… He nails it… It’s so good the producers of the TV show back in the day you may not remember it called MAUDE sees it… Next thing you know Mary Tyler Moore’s group sees it and now he’s on that show… Pretty soon brothers and sisters in Christ he starts getting popular… Then they drop the bomb on him… They said you know you got to change your last name… We already have a Michael Douglas and it ain’t you… You got to change your name… He said I don’t want to change my name… They said you do if you want to work… Mom once again says son keep your head up… Remember what happens when you drop it… Man he picks his head up and man the world begins open up for him… Man Michael becomes more and more popular… Man brothers and sisters in Christ he’s in a show early back in the day called LOST AND FOUND… Then he meet James Belushi called WORKING STIFFS and then he meets Henry Winkler remember that’s the guy you and I used to call the ‘Fonz’… And he is on a show called NIGHT SHIFT… It’s hysterical… Trust me that one’s hysterical… He does so good at it man next thing you know people starts paying the attention of Michael… And man Michael he knows what it means to go hungry so as a result of it man even more doors open up… He’s another movie BUILT FOR SPEED… And then he’s in another one called brothers and sisters in Christ where he plays BEETLEJUICE… Boy I was expecting more than that… Man we’re going to die of miserable death today… Man he’s in BEETLEJUICE and then the next thing you know he’s in MR. MOM… Now work with me… Come on I didn’t memorize 100 stories… And as a result of it he actually plays the guy in BATMAN… He plays Wayne what’s that guys name… Bruce Wayne… Man I’m dying to death I can’t even remember who he played… man trust me his name is Michael Keaton… He’s a great guy if you ever met him you’d love him… There we got to the end!!… My brothers sisters in Christ it was all because his family told him keep your head up… 
C. That’s a whole gospel… My brothers sisters in Christ… That dad has been looking out over that hill all year long… He’s not looking out there as just one more night and happens to see him… He’s longing for him… Every sunset you can see his dad just staring out of the hill hoping and praying that his son would some day pick his head up… and realize that his home is back here… Now your first century Jew and you and I work for this family… There are things you and I need to know… First of all if you were a Jew and as a result you’re the youngest child as a result you only get 1/3 of the estate… The oldest child gets 2/3… Number two as a Jew you would never go to your family and ask for money… Much less what you get when someone passes… What’s more important is not only does he do it but he spends the money outside of the family realm… Which is even a bigger sin… And you know what’s worse… If it can’t get any worse… Not only does he get his money and spend it on everything but what he supposed to he works for Gentile… So now for a Jew he’s working with pigs… And if that’s not enough he’s working on the Sabbath… What took all those things for him to remind himself to pick his head up and then he comes back… And then put yourself in the dad shoes… Man the hits just keep coming… Man I got one son I finally get him to pick his head up I turn around just to notice that my other one just dropped it… And did you hear what he said… Man go take care of your son… And then he makes the proverbial statement brothers and sisters in Christ… man you never even gave me a kid goat for me and my friends… Not for me and you but for me and my friends… And then if it’s not bad enough… You put a robe on him and you put a ring on his finger and let me tell you as a first century Jew… that’s important but not near as important as putting sandals on somebody’s feet… You notice that he said…I’ll be a slave and I’ll be a servant… His dad didn’t even respond… He puts a robe on his back a ring on his finger and he put sandals… Which means only slaves went barefoot… My brothers and sisters in Christ… And you know what it means to touch the sandal of someone… You heard John the Baptist say I can’t even loosen His sandals… You heard Moses say man the good Lord said take your sandals off you’re on holy ground… So for him to put sandals on him he saying he’s back in the fold… My brothers and sisters in Christ he’s trying to tell his other son you get everything now you get 3/3… Why are you so sideways… Is this about you and I… or is it about you and your brother… Or most importantly is it all about you… My brothers and sisters in Christ it’s about keeping your head up… 
D. Go back in scripture all of our best players are the ones that kept their head up… No matter how bad the misery is… John the Apostle… For three years you walk around with 12 other guys… OK… Lets exclude Judas… You’re walking around with 11 total people… Blind see Lame walk Dead rise… You’ve seen it all… You’ve even seen the good Lord at His worse and His best at the Transfiguration… And the garden of Gethsemane… do you know what it must’ve been for John to walk the crucifixion… You think he walked there free of charge… You don’t think someone along the way didn’t push him spit on him want to beat on him because you’re a follower of that guy that you believe is a common criminal… That’s why the other 10 are not there… Why because they know they’re gonna crucify us all if they’re going to kill the King… you’re not gonna kill his jesters… My brothers and sisters in Christ could you imagine what it must’ve been like for John… Where they at… to walk alongside our Savior… And you want to talk about keep your head up in the middle of a diversity… You don’t think John and the back of his head was saying I wander if they’re just gonna kill us all right when we get up there at the top… Man can you imagine what it must’ve been like to be the Blessed mother… You’re 14 years old you bring the Messiah into the world… And on day eight after His birth you bring Him to a Priest thinking it’s a blessing it’s a circumcision… I mean it won’t be too bad… And at the blessing the priest tells you man a sword is now going to pierce your heart… the rise and fall of man many will be at the feet of your Son… Oh man that’s a fine how do… But yet she never drops her head… Brothers and sisters in Christ… She loses the Messiah for three days… Do you understand how long three days is… I don’t think we do… Three days you’ve lost the Messiah she doesn’t drop her head she doesn’t pout… She’s on a mission she’s finding the Messiah… I tell you what compare it… Get rid of your cell phone for three days… Three minutes… 30 seconds… You and I will take a hostage if we don’t find our cell phone… We’re gonna have someone call our phone if we can ever find that person and get in touch with them to call our phone… And God forbid if we lose our keys… We will actually corral the whole family until we got everybody where we want… Brothers and sisters in Christ… That’s what she did about keeping her head up… Can you imagine with those three days when He’s been buried but it must’ve been like for her… She’s the only one that doesn’t go to the tomb… why because she knows… Brothers and sisters in Christ she knows what you and I need to know that we must always keep our head up… Brothers and sisters in Christ… 
E. We live in a world where the world is commonly trying to push you down… When you go to work do you feel like you’re being attacked from all sides… You got your boss you got your coworkers you got this contract that didn’t come in you got this relationship man you just wanna drop your head… And it’s almost like it’s overwhelming… Let me remind you… Of all the apostles… The one who dropped his head would be Judas… He is two words from becoming Saint Judas… I’M SORRY… My brothers and sisters in Christ this is what happens when you drop your head and you get into despair… He told Judas it would been better if you had never been born… My brothers and sisters in Christ… When you feel like work’s got the best of you you keep that head up… My brothers and sisters in Christ… You go back and forth to work and you get home and you thought the problems at work were great… Man we ain’t seen nothing yet… Man you gotta keep that head up… Do you honestly believe that every issue that comes to your door… Every problem that begs your question… Every email and every text message… You don’t think He knows… You don’t think He allowed it… You think they got one by Him… Brothers and sisters in Christ every issue must come through His door… This is why He tells you… I will be with you until the very end of time… I will not never ever leave you… You’re My children… I knew your name in your mother’s womb… I wrote My name in your heart… Jeremiah… My brother and sisters in Christ when you feel like your home is just about to tear you apart… The good Lord wants you to know where He wants you to go… He’s trying to tell you something… Remember brothers and sisters in Christ… Remember this… Go back in the day in the blind… There are three blind people in Scripture… The first one is the first one at the pool Salom… This is where the good Lord spits into the ground He makes the mud puts it on his eyes and tells him to go wash… The next guy that comes up the good Lord put His hands on his eyes to cure him… And the third one Bartamaus… just walks up says Lord I believe… He says because of your faith you will now see… He never touched them… That is true faith… Didn’t even have to touch him… You and I are talking about the guy in the middle you remember the story… The good Lord put His hands on his eyes and He says now tell Me what you see… The good Lord steps back and he says I see people… But they look like trees and then the good Lord keeps His hands back on his eyes and says now tell Me what you see… In other words his faith was starting to waffle… He was starting to walk away in the good Lord says no no no… Keep your head up… Don’t lose that faith because that’s why I can come… I can only work miracles if you allow Me to… If you dismiss Me or look the other way or in any way discourage that conversation there’s nothing I can do… That’s why He’s standing so close to you because He wants you to keep your head up… So if you’re waiting for the job if you wait for the contract it’s the doctor’s visit you wait for the text back it’s a relationship He’s telling you keep your head up… OK look you want to have a pity party… Great… Go out have you done now you finished get back in this game… You want to go kick your neighbor’s dog… I don’t care go do it… But you get back in this game you clean yourself off… And I don’t care what happens… You finish this race you don’t have to win it but you darn sure better finish it… You keep your head up…
G. Amen



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