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A Reflection for the Third Sunday After Pentecost

It was 19 years ago, June 12 2005, that Steve Jobs delivered the Commencement Address at Stanford University.  Speaking to the graduating class the Apple cofounder and then-CEO shared three stories that connected lessons he'd learned in his life to advice for the new graduates. 

He talked about connecting the dots in your life and how he decided to drop out of college believing that somehow things would work out OK if he let go of the “required courses” and took hold of what was most engaging and alive within him… "You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future,"…

"You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever."

Then he talked about love and loss, telling about the time he was fired from Apple.  "I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me,"… "Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith," he said. "I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love…And if you haven't found what you love yet, "Don't settle."

Finally, he talked about living and dying sharing that he was diagnosed with cancer in 2004… “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important… "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life," and “Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."

He concluded by saying, “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish”.

Steve Jobs lived 5 more years, dying from Pancreatic Cancer in October 2011.

Bishop Michael Curry referenced Steve Jobs in a sermon about the time early in Jesus’ ministry that Jesus’ family thought that perhaps he was crazy.  And how sometimes, having people think you’re “crazy” is the most genuine path of a faithful disciple…

Sometimes Jesus’ disciples are crazy enough to believe that following Jesus means changing the world from the nightmare it often is into the dream that God intends. And sometimes that means marching to the beat of a different drummer. Sometimes that means caring when it is tempting to care less, or standing up when others sit down. Sometimes it means speaking up when others shut up. Sometimes it means being different -- even being crazy.

When Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple Inc., died in 2011, an old Apple commercial from the 90s went viral on YouTube. It was a commercial that aired in 1997 and that attempted to re-brand Apple products. The tag line for the commercial and the company was “Think different,” a phrase that is grammatically incorrect -- which is part of the point.

In the commercial, they showed a collage of photographs and film footage of people who have invented and inspired, created and sacrificed to improve the world, to make a difference. They showed Bob Dylan, Amelia Earhart, Frank Lloyd Wright, Maria Callas, Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King Jr., Jim Henson, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Mahatma Gandhi and on and on and on.

As the images rolled by, a voice read this poem:

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels.

The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules.

And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

Because they change things.

They push the human race forward.

While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough

to think they can change the world,

are the ones who do.

We need some crazy Christians. Sane, sanitized Christianity is killing us. That may have worked once upon a time, but it won’t carry the gospel anymore. We need some crazy Christians... Christians crazy enough to believe that God is real and that Jesus lives. Crazy enough to follow the radical way of the gospel. Crazy enough to believe that the love of God is greater than all the powers of evil and death that have ever been….

Adapted from: “We Need Some Crazy Christians” – Bishop Michael Curry

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithfuland kindle in them the fire of your love.

- Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created,

and you shall renew the face of the earth.


May God Bless you and yours as we journey in this Pentecost Season…

May God’s Spirit empower us to

“expect great things from God and to attempt great things for God”…  and

May God Continue to Bless Union Church!


-Pastor Mark

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