The Sunday Sermonette: Prometheus.

     As an only child in the late 1950s, my two best friends were me and the World Book Encyclopedia. On cold, rainy days, I had to make my own entertainment in those wonderful days before 24/7 children’s television shows and cell phones. When Mom and Dad were busy around the house, and I was underfoot, they would tell me to look at the pretty pictures in the encyclopedia. I did. And it opened up the world to me.

     One afternoon, while sitting on the couch wrapped up in an old quilt and still wearing my footies, I was transported back to the days of gods and goddesses, myths and legends. While slowly turning the World Book’s pages, a picture of a writhing Prometheus popped out at me. It scared me to death. Although I could only read a word or two, I knew poor, old Prometheus was in a heap of trouble.

     You remember Prometheus, don’t you? One of the Titans of Olympus? According to legend, he took clay and created man. He didn’t want his creations to be helpless, so he stole fire from the gods and gave it to mankind. He knew that fire would help them control all things. Zeus, king of the gods, was so angered by this that he had Prometheus chained to a mountain for his transgressions. 

     Each day, Prometheus was tormented by an eagle, which slowly ripped into his flesh, devouring his liver. And each night, as freezing wind tormented his sleep, Prometheus’ mangled flesh would magically mend itself, allowing the eagle to dine once again as dawn crept over the mountaintop.

     The consequences of Prometheus’ sin—stealing fire from the gods—would have lasted for all eternity had Hercules not killed the eagle and set Prometheus free. But that action had eternal consequences, too. Zeus, angered again, sent Pandora to Earth in retaliation. She arrived with a trunk that, when opened, released evil, death, famine, and disease into the world. 

     Aren’t we like Prometheus, not realizing that our actions have consequences? Do the things we say build up or tear down? Are the things we do constructive or destructive? Don’t we steal from God, too? Do we give Him full measure of our lives for His service, or are we so busy with our own lives that everyone else’s lives don’t matter?

     Please don’t forget the “trunks” in our lives, either. Trunks that, when opened, spread hurt, misery, and injustice to those we call family and friends. Trunks that, once opened, are almost impossible to close.

     Thankfully, we have a “Hercules” in our lives. But unlike the Hercules of fable and myth, ours is real. He’s perfect, sinless, and loves us with a sacrificial love. That love sent him to Calvary to die for us so that we might live forever in Heaven. His name is Jesus.

     Is your life filled with the consequences of your actions? Have they lashed you to a cold mountainside? Are you tormented during the day by a gnawing in your stomach that subsides at night, only to be rekindled at dawn? Talk to God. Talk to Jesus. They can help.

     Ponder this and go forth.