I just finished the manuscript for Sunday’s sermon. Unfortunately, I had to cut a quote a I planned to use from Alice in Wonderland, “You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
Confession: Sometimes, when I am preaching, a little voice inside my head says, “You sound like a crazy person.” I just keep preaching.
Think about it. Most of what we believe, as Christians, is pretty crazy stuff – an invisible God, a Heaven you can only get to by dying, angels and demons, a dead man rising from the grave – not to mention all of those miracle stories.
We’ve become so accustomed to the teachings of Jesus, in particular, that I think we forget how much he must have sounded like a Mad Hatter to his original listeners…
When someone slaps you, offer the other cheek.
When your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It’s easier for a camel to climb through the eye of a needle that for a rich man to go to heaven.
Take the log protruding from your own eye before kindly helping someone remove the teensy tiny little speck in their’s.
You must eat my flesh and drink my blood.
You must be born again.
I speak in parables so that no one will understand what I am talking about.
I’m a king. But my kingdom isn’t of this world.
The Father and I are one.
Go, sell everything you’ve got and give it to the poor.
Love your enemies.
Forgive someone 77 times.
The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.
Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.
Blessed are you when you are poor, hungry, sad, and everyone hates you and says mean things about you. Rejoice and jump for joy!
Don’t worry about what you will eat or what you will wear…
You see. But, you don’t see. You hear. But, you don’t hear.
In Alice in Wonderland, Wonderland is an odd place, filled with stranger characters, where the rules are different, and where no speaks or acts “normally.” Everyone is bonkers.
Is it possible, that if we were to really take the teachings of Jesus seriously, and really lived like Kingdom people, that we wouldn’t seem very normal in this world either?
“Welcome to the Kingdom of Heaven – we’re all mad here.”
But, if the values of this world are “normal”…
- obsession with wealth, power, beauty, and fame
- war, fear, and hate
- self-advancement and looking out for #1
- “fake” news
Shall I go on?
If what this world offers is “normal,” I’ll choose the madness of Jesus any day.
Ah. But you, like Alice, might say, “But I don’t want to go among mad people.” I’m afraid I must side with the Cheshire Cat, “You can’t help that. We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
You must be mad… or you wouldn’t still be reading this blog! You must be completely off your head!