Our Bible verse for today: “Truly I tell you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Don’t take yourself too seriously.”
In the late 1980s there was a young comedian named Dana Carvey who starred on the television show “Saturday Night Live”. As a member of the cast his job was to come up with funny characters and to put on live comedy skits. One of Dana’s most popular characters was known as “The Church Lady”. The Church Lady was prim and proper – with poofed-up hair, too much make-up (including a hideous amount of red lipstick), and 1950s style dresses. Her cheeks were pinched and sucked-in and her lips were always puckered, making her look like she must have been weaned on a pickle. She held her little purse with both hands at waist level, and her posture was ramrod straight (her girdle was obviously way too tight).
The Church Lady would then proceed to bless us with her opinion on everything from bad boys to loose girls, from rock and roll music to bad manners, from proper etiquette at church potlucks to the awful tie the pastor wore last Sunday, and everything in-between. Just watching and listening to her, with those sucked-in cheeks and those puckered lips, you just knew that as a child she sucked every ounce of juice out of that pickle.
Many Christians back then were offended by this caricature of church people and they thought it was terrible for Dana Carvey to make fun of them. Not me. I thought it was hilarious. I still do. And I also think it’s good for us to laugh at ourselves. We often take ourselves way too seriously. That’s one of the reasons I love the ministry of Chonda Pierce. She’s a Pastor’s kid who was raised in church, and she is absolutely brutal in her comedy routines as she points out the silliness of church life and gets us all to laugh about it. That’s good for us.
In Matthew 18:3 Jesus was using a child as an illustration of the simple faith that God likes and cherishes. But another lesson we can learn from children is to stop being so darn serious about everything and to just relax. Children have that unique ability to be silly and to have fun, and as adults we need more of that. We’re too uptight.
I’ll share with you one thing that makes me uptight, and it has to do directly with church life. Actually it has to do with how nice the people at our church are. Did you know it is possible to be too nice? It is. I have a recurring dream (this is real), I have this dream that I’m up on the stage on Sunday preaching my heart out, and there’s this booger hanging out of my nose, or worse, my zipper is down. AND NOBODY TELLS ME!
Why? Why does nobody tell me? Because they’re so nice that’s why, and they don’t want to embarrass me. So they say nothing!
Lol. Look, I love ya, and I’m glad you are so nice, but for goodness sakes don’t be that nice! Tell me I’ve got booger hanging out of my nose. We’ll all get a good laugh out of it and then I’ll preach the rest of the sermon!
Okay now that we’ve all lightened up a bit go and have a good day but remember, don’t take yourself too seriously.