Sermon Series: The Gospel of Dr. Seuss
Message 1 of 6: Horton Hatches the Egg
Scripture: 1 Peter 1:3-7
Notes from a message offered Sunday, 1/20/19 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida.
Why are Dr. Seuss books classics?
- Rhythm and Rhyme
- Inventive Illustrations
- Universal Themes
- Modern Parables- Stories with a deeper meaning. Those deeper meanings are often Biblical truths.
Reading of Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
Horton makes a courageous commitment. He remains faithful to that commitment even when doing so leads to
- Threat of death
- Sold into slavery
What breaks my heart is the return of Lazy Mayzie and her reclaiming the egg she abandoned. The story has a happy ending (Elephant Bird!) Even so, Horton would have remained true even without reward. He’s courageously committed.
“I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent!”
Does anyone do this anymore? Have you ever made a Horton level commitment? What prevents you?
- What if I commit to the wrong thing?
- What if I miss out on something better? I’ll be trapped!
- I’ve got plenty of time to make a commitment later
- What if the commitment impacts the way I want to live my life like it did Horton?
- As Lazy Mayzie says, “It’s work, how I hate it, I’d much rather play!”
Commitment is easy to come by when it is superficial, doesn’t cost us anything, temporary, or new. (How are those New Year’s resolutions going?) Commitment takes work. The work is to keep at it- day after day, year after year after year.
Eugene Peterson wrote a book entitled A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. It’s hard but it’s worth it.
Keys to Making a Horton Level Commitment. (Adapted from 5 Keys to Commitment by Ryan Dunn)
1) Define “The Why”, the deep reason for the commitment. I am committed to my sobriety because… I am committed to my marriage because… I am committed to starting this business because… I am a committed follower of Jesus Christ because…
2) Remember “The Why.” Keep it in front of you, especially when the commitment becomes hard work and sacrifice.
3) Live the commitment moment to moment. I’m going to eat healthy for the rest of my life. No! I’m going to make the best next faithful choice. Little choices add up to a big and lasting commitment.
4) Expect some failure. It will happen. Choose to fail forward: practice forgiveness, learn from the failure, keep showing up.
5) Don’t go it alone. We need the gift of each other and we need God.
Who can you think of who’s made a Horton level commitment? Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Theresa, Billy Graham, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. We think of the super saints. Ordinary people can make a Horton level commitment as well.
Have you made a Horton level commitment to Jesus?
When we decide to believe in Jesus without making a commitment to follow Him, we become nothing more than fans.- Kyle Idleman, Not a Fan
Reading of 1 Peter 1:3-7. “The Why” of making a Horton level commitment to Jesus.
- His great mercy
- New birth
- A living hope
- Jesus already made a Horton level commitment to us in his coming, homelessness, ridicule, torture, death, and resurrection
- an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. No situation or evil can touch it.
- Salvation and Heaven
- God’s protection
This is why we rejoice and keep to a courageous commitment in the midst of suffering and trials for the sake of Christ.
Have you made a Horton level commitment to Jesus? You can. Anyone can.
- Not a nominal Christian- in name only
- Not a CEO (Christmas Easter only)
- Not a commitment of convenience
- Not a fair-weather Christian
- Not a fan
For Courage to do Justice by Alan Paton
open my eyes that I may see the needs of others;
open my ears that I may hear their cries;
open my heart so that they need not be without succor;
let me not be afraid to defend the weak because of the anger of the strong,
nor afraid to defend the poor because of the anger of the rich.
Show me where love and hope and faith are needed,
and use me to bring them to those places.
And so open my eyes and my ears
that I may this coming day be able to do some work of peace for thee.
Horton Hatches The Egg Sermon © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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What kind of a sermon is based on a Dr. Seuss book?
The Dr. Suess book serves as an illustration for the scripture.