Monday, July 26, 2021

Daredevil Duck, Part 1

The following few posts are a sermon I preached at Milton United Methodist Church on July 25.  The sermon was based on Ephesians 3:14-21 and John 6: 1-21.  The Nancy mentioned at the beginning is the pastor of the church.

Nancy told me that she was sharing a series of sermons with you related to story books.  So I want to start today by telling you the story of the Daredevil Duck.  Charlie Alder wrote the book – it’s wonderfully illustrated – I recommend it.

Anyway, the story is about Daredevil Duck – the bravest duck in the whole world – except that he wasn’t.  He WANTS to be brave, but sometimes he’s not. His fears are many – he’s afraid of the dark, of things that are too fluttery, too wet, or too high.  

Amazingly enough (for me, especially since he is afraid of things that are too wet) one day he was floating on a lake, dreaming about being brave, when a chatty mole, named Chatty Mole, said, “Hello!”  Daredevil Duck was so startled that he fell off of his float, got out of the lake, and ran to his tricycle – he peddled away as fast as he could, hoping to get away from the mole.  But he got lost, and ended up right where he started.  Right next to Chatty Mole, who said, “Hello” again.  The Chatty Mole’s balloon was stuck in a tree, and he could not get it down, so he asked the duck to help.   The mole had to do some convincing, but finally Daredevil Duck agreed to try to help.

The Daredevil climbed the tree, inched out on a branch, and jumped! As he jumped, he caught the balloon string, and floated through the air.  He had rescued the balloon, and he returned it to the mole. Chatty Mole’s gratitude and happiness – and his belief that Daredevil Duck actually WAS brave, changed the duck.  The idea of helping someone else motivated the Daredevil, and then the act of helping transformed him.  He began to believe he was brave.  And his life was changed from that point on.

The story reminds me of the scripture that we heard today from John.  In the John passage, we hear two miracle stories – stories that we might not always hear together.  The first one – the feeding story – is so important for us to hear that it is in all four gospels.  It is, in fact, the only miracle that appears in all four gospels.  The second story of the pair describes Jesus walking on water.  

In our story, Daredevil Duck was afraid – of almost everything.  As we talk about these two stories in John today, I hope you will listen for that theme – how often are we afraid? And how are we called to respond to our fear?

Continued in next post

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