Sermon Illustrations

A Little Pointer on Keeping a Balance

Here’s a little bonus tip that I’ve found helpful to keep my wits about me as I live next to these wild Vikings we call sinners, pagans, and wacko unbelievers while keeping my vertical relationship with God strong. It’s called “whimsical holiness,” which is the ability to hold on to personal values of Christlikeness while being deeply in relationship with people who do not hold your same convictions. In other words, it’s about keeping a sense of humor while keeping a sense of holiness.

Looking again to Jesus, I think we can agree that He was holy. But whimsical? Sure. When Jesus made more wine than an elephant could suck down, for people who were already hammered drunk, it was a whimsical decision. When Jesus sneaked up behind the two men walking to Emmaus, He must have had a smirk on His face. When He held a dinner for every despicable tax collector in town, He must have had to crack a few opening jokes to help them relax. When He was talking about spiritual truth with the confused woman at the well, He responded with gracious statements instead of belittling her or straightening out her poor theology. When He purposefully neglected to remind His disciples to wash their hands correctly before eating, He was also being whimsically holy. Heck, eating and drinking were His pastime. My favorite scripture, Luke 7:34, says it this way: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’”

Halter, H. (2015). Brimstone: the art and act of holy nonjudgment. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook.

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