December 21, 2011
Those of you that know me have no problem believing that I have a tendency towards sarcasm. I try to use my powers of sarcasm for good and not evil, but I am sure I mess up sometimes. Good sarcasm is semi-dependent on vocal inflection. Just try saying the sentence “That looks really nice on you” with varying inflections as see how quickly you go from supportive to mean. Hence the reason I am calling for a sarcasm font. I want something that allows me to type sarcasm clearly. I suggest the following for sarcastic clarity – ^sarcasm^. I suggest this because I never use the symbol above the number 6 for anything and the italics somehow gives it a touch of class.
“That haircut was a terrific decision”- You just made someone’s day
“^That haircut was a terrific decision^” - You just made someone cry, go repent
I bring this up because my friend Mark (who really takes the imitator of Christ thing literally based on pictures I’ve seen of Jesus) recently asked me to write a paragraph for his blog’s reflection on politics. Mark and I share a ^deep and profound love of politics^, which has become to reasonable discourse what WWF is to sports.
He asked me to give him a paragraph on what a country looks like if Jesus was President. It was a fun idea that I answered in a way that probably reads a little less than serious.
In a land where Jesus is president.
Ironically election is no longer a divisive term politically or theologically. He is in office because he campaigned by giving everything he has away. There are no more citizens. Just sons and daughters. His cabinet is made up entirely of children. There are two laws and it is up to you to obey. 1) Give every part of yourself to God (yes even the gross parts) and 2) Love everyone on earth like they are the God in whose image they are made.
The tax code is simple: If you have more manna than you need give it away to those who are hungry before it stinks up your tent. Foreign relations take place around a large table. Everyone brings their best food and wine, and we tell stories. (I, that is Mike, will be eating with the Thai members of the family, and telling stories with the American southerners). The army trains by running wide armed at stuffed dummy replicas of the “enemy”, and then practices throwing themselves at their mannequin feet with a towel and basin. This will take some practice before they can really get between the toes. All zoos have no fences because the snakes don’t bite and the lambs use lions as pillows. Oh and we all get to talk face to face with the President anytime and anywhere we want, His schedule is surprisingly open.”
I know that to most people this sounds like childish wishes of La-La Land, and theologically speaking they would kind of be at least kind of right. But, I would like to point out the noticeable absence of my sarcasm font. It is absent because, as Mark points out, I actually believe this stuff. Allow me a little space for a theological defense of this LaLa Land.
What we are really talking about here is in scripture called the Kingdom of God. It is the DOMain over which God is KING. In other words it is what the it looks like when God’s will is done and when God is really the leader -AKA President. I would say that each of the things mentioned above may sound distanced from the real world, but scripturally speaking they are descriptive of what it looks like when God is in charge.
See Phil. 2:5-11 for how Jesus gets to the highest office. See 1 John 2:1-2 for our status as children, which in my mind is a greater title then citizen, although that language is used as well in scripture. See Matthew 18 1-4 for Jesus words on Children being first in the Kingdom. See Matthew 22:33-40 for the only two commands(laws) that really matter to Jesus. See for the story in Exodus 16:15-22 on how God asks us to handle our resources when God is in charge. For God’s cabinet meeting see Isaiah 25:6-8. For Jesus’ strategy for how to handle those about to kill you (Judas) see John 13:1-17. Isaiah 11:6-11 is the reference about predators now befriending their former prey, although technically I used the popular lion/lamb image over the more scripturally accurate wolf/lamb language. And, finally, here is one verse about speaking to God constantly in 1 Thess. 5:17. Whew.
So what one might call Utopian pipe dream or LaLa Land we call the Kingdom of God. Heaven is our name for the place where the Kingdom of God is already realized. May your will be done “on earth as it is in heaven” is our prayer and commitment to realize these things here and now. So I believe in LaLa Land. I believe in trying to live like Jesus is already President and the banquet is already starting. Hopefully as we live into this Kingdom here and now we build the foundation for it final arrival. Almost like we are the first fruits of something else…^there should be a verse about that^.