There’s one word at my family gatherings that makes me cringe. It’s a word that outsiders like to use to describe my generation. The word also comes in to play in the polarization of democrats and republicans views of social programs. Entitlement. (Cringes) Just the way it’s naturally pronounced communicates disdain – inˈtīdlmənt. It sneers. It shames. Entitlement programs. Entitled generations. / Millennials have received the brunt of this “entitled” label: the generation where people hate to work, a generation that doesn’t take responsibly, and the age group that just wants everything given to them.View Sermon
Have you heard about that new restaurant? What’s new with you? Did you see that new show?
We all like novelty in one way or another. Yet, this newness can quickly disappear as we become familiar with it. Soon the novelty of a newly renovated “L” station becomes nothing special, until we find another new experience – hello cell service underground! It turns out that it’s not just because of a cultural shift that novelty wears off easily. Rather, it’s hardwired into our brains. As humans we seek out and appreciate novelty. New things grab our attention. Researchers have found that we essentially have a part of the brain that is our “novelty center” which responds to novel stimuli. This novelty center causes an increase in dopamine, which ultimately makes us want to go exploring in search of a reward. This experience of novelty is what we’ve been focused on here in church for the past three weeks.
One series, above all others, has taken Netflix by storm the past month. The timing was perfect for its release. Right before Christmas allowed time for people to binge watch the series over the holidays. This series is entitled “Making a Murder.” It has captivated individuals from every facet of life to learn about Steven Avery in this first season. I’m not going to give any spoilers away, so don’t worry if you haven’t seen it. Very briefly I’ll note that Steven Avery was formerly convicted of sexual assault in 1985. 18 years later he was released when DNA evidence linked the assault to another man. As a result, Steven decides to file a lawsuit against the county associated with his prison sentence. Shortly after this lawsuit was filed, Steven was accused of a murder. The series goes through his court trial for the murder, and at times it’s hard to figure out whose voice to listen to. Do we listen to the Steven? What about the state prosecutor? How about Steven’s family? Can the police even be trusted? Is the media spinning inaccuracies? Can we trust the children? There are so many angles, so many possibilities, and so many voices.View Sermon