Sermon Illustrations

Mark Buchanan writes the following in, Your God Is Too Safe,

The Lord is deeply and passionately committed to our joy. Where did we get the idea that religion is a stiff, dull, flat business, all pursed lips and knitted brows and gloomy outlooks? Where did we get that portrait of the religious type as sour, harsh, brooding, scolding? How ever did we forget to dance and laugh and play and live?

We see religion, of course as gloominess in the Pharisees and religious rulers of Jesus’ day. The people came into town along side Jesus, singing and skipping and clapping their hands. “Shut these people up,” the chief priest ordered. Jesus said, “If they remain silent, the rocks themselves will sing.” The Pharisees accused Jesus of hanging out with the wrong people, going to all the wrong parties. He eats with sinners, they said, aghast. They called him a drunkard and a glutton.

He kept comparing himself to the groom at a wedding feast, said that now was the time to party. He always seemed to be eating and then sleeping. He kept describing heaven like a huge party: loud music, lots of fattening food, drinks, dancing, singing.

The religious leaders of the day hated it, as they do today. They found Jesus irreverent, frivolous, irresponsible, a threat to public order and decency. Stop that dancing! Stop that laughing! Stop that singing! Stop that eating! Stop the playing! Stop having fun! Stop it! Stop It!

Buchanan concludes; Do we want to imitate them?

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