This sermon is part of the sermon series "Doing Good". See series.
Introduction: A tale of two brothers
In 1989, two brothers from Boston started a T-shirt business. For five years Bert and John traveled the East Coast, hawking their shirts in the streets and selling door-to-door in college dorms. They lived on peanut butter and jelly, slept in their van, and showered when they could. As they tell it, they didn't make much money, and chicks were not impressed. In the summer of '94 they arrived home from a road trip with $78 in their pockets and were about ready to give up.
That's when they created a smiling stick figure named Jake and a simple phrase that captured their imagination: "Life is good." Inspired by their new friend and his contagious grin, they emptied their bank account and printed up 48 Jake shirts for a street fair in Cambridge. By noon they were sold out, and a business was born. Not just a business, but a movement. Bert and John were no longer just selling clothes; they were on a mission to spread good vibes wherever they could. Today, Life is good, Inc., is not only a $150 million company with thousands of outlets. It's a movement that's raised millions of dollars for charity, drawn people together, and shaped contemporary culture with its message of optimism, simplicity, and goodness. And my guess is, many of us have one of Jake's shirts in our drawers at home.
There's something we love about that story, isn't there? Maybe because it's the story of a couple of local boys who made good. Maybe it's that there's still a market for simplicity and quality. Or maybe it's because it speaks to a longing we all have to work at something we love, something that makes a positive impact on the world around us. We all want to believe that life can be good, that work can be meaningful, ...
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