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The "You" in "You Got This" - By Pastor Thomas Engel


What’s your favorite emoji?

I use to text the one that had a smiley face that I think was the first and most popular emoji.

Then, I switched to the one that had a hand with a thumbs up. I liked that emoji because it’s very assertive in a positive way.

Recently, I’ve been using the one with a smiley face and a thumbs up. You can’t get any more positive that that.

Most of the time when I send that emoji with a smiley face and a thumbs up, I am trying to encourage someone who is facing a challenge.

I want the person to know that he or she can keep taking that tough climb up the mountain of life.

With the smiley face and thumbs up, I’m saying, “You got this.”

If a person has to take a test and has been studying hard, we say, “You got this.” If a person has a job interview, we say, “You got this.”

If a person is making a recovery from an illness, we say, “You got this.”

If a person is going through any difficult life situation, we say, “You got this.”

But, just what are we saying when we say, “You got this.”

In one way, we are telling the person that we believe in them.

We have confidence in the person’s talents and abilities.

We know that the person has put in the effort to accomplish what he or she wants to do, so we want to help to keep motivating that person.

We have our dreams, goals, and desires that we want to become real.

To have them become real in our lives, we need to be bigger and stronger than the challenges that are in front of us.

So, we say, “You got this.”

We are saying that you can get through or over whatever is in front of you to reach your prize.

When I am facing something that is difficult, I like when someone says to me, “Tom, you got this.”

It makes me feel good that someone else is believing in me. Another person is looking at me and the challenge in front of me and has assessed that I’m bigger than the challenge.

All that I have to do is to keep moving along with a determination that will not fall back.

In another way, when we say to another person, “You got this,” we are putting a lot of pressure on that person.

But, pressure is what we need at times. Stress is helpful to motivate us, but to say, we need to manage it.

From a secular viewpoint, we can talk our minds and bodies.

To pass a test, a student can study for hours and hours.

To do well in a job interview, you can search for tips on how to do well in an interview and practice with a friend who asks you all possible questions that an interviewer might ask.

To recover from an illness, you can eat right and do therapy.

In anything in life, we can work hard to do better.

A basketball player can shoot free throws all day long, so when it is time to shooting the winning basket, another player will come up and say, “Remember all those hours of work. You got this.”

A concert pianist has spent a life time sitting day after day in a practice room, so when she is about to go on stage, the conductor says, “Remember all those hours of work. You got this.”

We can think of the research scientist in the lab discovering a cure for a disease.

We can think of those long hours in city council meetings trying to put a budget plan together.

At times, we applaud the human spirit. We can get it right.

We can persevere. We can accomplish. We can do good. We can always do better.

Through hard work, the student can get an “A.” The person looking for a job will get a job. The person who was sick will heal.

But, just as I say about all the things that work out well for us, the basketball hits the rim, and the game is lost. The pianist hits a wrong note.

We need science, but it doesn’t have all the answers. We need government, but sometimes it fails.

The human spirit has a lot, but it does have its limits.

So, as much as I like my emojis, we need to go back and take a look at “You got this.”

We need to ask, “Who really has everything, so he can say, ‘I got this.’”

As humans, “What do we really have that we can do anything about.”

To cut to the chase to answer that question, as humans, we have nothing.

Hearing that humans have nothing to contribute to the world or to our own lives is hard to hear.

We want to think we have some things to say about what happens in the world and our lives.

What can we say about this world and our lives?

To really get to what is going about anything, it’s best to go the source. Find the expert, the one with a lot of experience, the one who has been there and done that, and the one who when they walk in the room can take care of any situation.

We want to the one who was there from the beginning, the one who knows things backwards and forwards, and here is the real kicker, the one who has never failed.

To cut to the chase here, no has that much of a human spirit. A human can be a genius, have layers of talent, and work day and most of the night, but humans learn from the mistakes that they make, athletes get old and retire, and we all need sleep.

We could search and get a long list of people throughout history who have done remarkable things, but who also have their failing.

It’s not that I’m trying to disparage the human spirit.

It’s just that we want something constant in our lives. Something that never fails and always works.

Something that always got things.

I think we have made a good case that the human spirit has it issues, but let’s not give up hope on us and the world, quite yet.

Again, cutting to the chase, you are here in church today and it’s far from our first time here.

We come here today to see Jesus, for he is the one who is always constant, who never fails, who always gets it right, and who was here right from the beginning.

In our Gospel reading for today, we hear of the blind man who was healed.

With his eyes wide open, he sees Jesus and gets an explanation to why he was healed.

Jesus says to him, “Your faith has made you well.”

From this, somehow I got the theme for today, “You got this.”

The man did receive his sight, so from what Jesus said to the man, it seems that the man got it.

But, we know that faith is a gift from God.

Here is where it gets a little tricky. Faith comes from God, but we have to let it work.

So, in saying we have to let it work makes it sound like that we are doing something as humans to help make it work.

As true as it is that we do the believing and live by faith, even that believing and living by faith is the work of God in Christ.

And here is where we come to the answer of who is the “You” in the phrase, “You got this.”

When we say, “You got this” can be a short but powerful prayer knowing that the “You” is Jesus and he has everything in his loving, gracious, merciful, and powerful hands.

When we come here on Sundays, we confess our sins.

In our confession of sin, we are essentially giving our sins to God.

We are saying about our sins to God, “You got this.”

And in Christ, God forgives our sins.

We are forgiven and could not be any better.

Jesus is saying to us about our Spirit that is now new again as he said to the blind man who was healed, “You faith has made you well.”

This past weekend we had a volleyball tournament. If you walked past the gym, you would have heard a lot cheering. Maybe the coaches and players were yelling to the server when it came to winning the game, “You got this.” At the same time, here in the church, we had the funeral for Jeffrey Pegasus. he was a former student here.

After the funeral, it felt like an Alumni reunion in the church basement where they had a luncheon.

For Jeffrey’s sermon, I was thinking of today’s theme.

Jeffrey’s faith, which I would like to think was nurtured here at the school, made him well.

He is now perfectly well in heaven with seeing his Lord and Savior face to face now in heaven.

To comfort the family, I told them that they will see Jeffrey again.

All we need to do is to hold on to the faith, and we will hold on to it, for it’s God’s most highest desire that we do.

We have the faith fed by Word and Sacrament as is happening today in this hour that God in Christ is the “You” in “You got this.”

God has got the world and each one of us in Christ and that is how we live.

And how do we live knowing that God in Christ is the “You” in “You got this?”

We live a sure hope that all will turn out well for us as it did with that blind man who received his sight and with Jeffrey who received eternal life.


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