Life Notes—June 21, 2012
“The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.” Mark 4:28
Like a number of things in life, pyramid schemes have been given a bad name by a handful of less-than-ethical people. Pyramid schemes most often refer to business people who recruit people to sell a product, keeping some of the profits from those sales for themselves. Those secondary salespeople recruit others to sell for them and a part of those profits accrue both to the secondary sales folks as well as the original salesperson. As more people are recruited to sell—as the lower part of the pyramid grows—those at the top reap greater and greater profits. Where a pyramid scheme becomes illegal and/or unethical is when there is no worthy product actually being sold. The pyramid collapses once the truth is revealed that nothing of value is being bought and sold.
But a pyramid scheme is not inherently flawed. In fact, it is a divine design. Perhaps the oldest, man-made structures still standing are the Great Pyramids, built thousands of years ago. Of course, those pyramids can also be seen as symbols of tyranny, where the back-breaking labor of the masses was used to build structures to exalt the few. But they are amazingly designed structures that have withstood the ravages of time.
The scripture above describes a type of pyramid scheme—a scheme designed by God for the propagation of life on earth. A single seed falls to the earth, grows, matures and produces more seeds. Those seeds fall to the ground and produce more seeds so that in a few generations the good fruit of that single seed has multiplied in exponential fashion. When we look a genealogical record of our ancestors, we see an inverted pyramid with us at the bottom. We see our two parents, their four parents, their eight parents, their sixteen parents and so on into the past. When we look at the generations after us we see our children, the children of our children and so on into the future. Perhaps the divine pyramid design is actually more like an hourglass. An inverted pyramid pours the sands of ancestral influences onto and through us in the middle, and then passes to those who follow us. In this image our lives are the product of the gifts and influences of the parents, teachers and mentors before us, and we pass those good gifts along to those we parent, teach and mentor. However we look at it, a pyramid scheme is only as good and effective as that which passes through it. When we nurture and grow the good gifts we’ve received, they multiply for future generations as the base of our pyramid grows.
Both Tom and Mitch begin a seven-week series on David this Sunday, Tom downtown and Mitch at the west campus. Their sermon title will be “David and Samuel,” based on Matthew 1:1-17. Life worship is at 10:00 AM in Brady Hall, traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00. Worship at the west campus begins at 9:00 and 11:00.
Come home to church this Sunday. What is passing through your pyramid?
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator