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Wacky Christians (Think Different) Video Manuscript Sermon

Today’s blog contains the sermon manuscript and video for a message preached June 7, 2015 at the Patterson Avenue Baptist Church, Richmond, VA.   You can also find an audio of this sermon by visiting the church website and subscribing to our podcast.  The sermon is titled:  “Wacky Christians” based on Mark 3L20-21

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You can watch the video below and/or read the manuscript.

 

Those Wacky Christians

Lectionary:  Mark 3:20-35  (Reading: vs. 20-21) 

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

 

I never met Art Graham, former Associate Pastor of this congregation, but I am told he had a talent for telling a good story and turning a phrase.  The one I hear repeated and called attention to the most was when he observed that the Patterson Avenue Baptist was a congregation “filled with the wonderful, the weird, and the wacky – with a heavy emphasis on the wacky.”

 

Now that’s word “wacky” was used as a humorous and slightly pejorative term, making reference to some of the oddball characters who make up this congregation.

 

Most of us want to be counted among the wonderful – the magnificent, amazing, brilliant, and great.  From time to time we can take a bit of ribbing from those who might say we are a little weird.  That’s not particularly bad, it’s just, different.  But none of us want to be called “wacky.”  We don’t want people saying we are insane, crazy, loony, or loopy   This morning, however, I liked to put in a good word for the “wacky.”  In fact, I would like to advocate that we be willing to be counted among that CRAZY brand of WACKY disciples who have an intense and radical desire to really follow the way of Jesus.

 

For a text today, I offer these words from Mark 3:20-21 (NIV): “…Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

 

The KJV translates the anxiety of Jesus’ family saying: “He is beside himself.”

 

The J.B. Phillips New Testament renders this, “People were saying, ‘He must be mad!’”

 

The Contemporary English Version says:  “When Jesus’ family heard what he was doing, they thought he was crazy and went to get him under control.”

 

I hope you will excuse me for putting it this way, but it is accurate to the scripture.  Jesus family and friends classified him as one of the “wacky.”  They thought he was crazy, insane, beside himself, and quite mad.

 

Might I add further that this is how our discipleship should appear to folks when we radically and passionately follow the way of Jesus.

 

If you think about it, Jesus said some wacky stuff.  He advocated living in a fashion that many of our good, respectable, religious type church folk think is really off the wall.

 

Jesus said: “Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9). That’s wacky.

 

Jesus said:  “The greatest among you will be your servant” (Matthew 23:11). That’s wacky.

 

Jesus said  the poor are the ones to be considered blessed, as are those who hunger and thirst for what God considers right.  Jesus says that God blesses those who are being persecuted.  He says that the earth shall not be inherited by the powerful, but by those who are peacemakers.  This is all crazy talk.

 

Jesus said, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, pray for those who despitefully use you.” That’s insane.

 

Jesus offered grace to those who were killing him, saying:  “Father forgive them, they know not what they are doing.”  That’s wacky.

 

It is to this loony, insane, wacky type of discipleship that we are called to follow when Jesus says that to be his followers we must “take up the cross.”  I would challenge us today to consider that we are to be just as crazy as the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Let’s be wacky enough to be people of hope, even when the situations and circumstances around us see hopeless.

 

Let’s be wacky enough to love like Jesus, to give like Jesus, and to forgive like Jesus.

 

Let’s be wacky enough to work for peace when the world is beating the battle drums.

 

Let’s be wacky enough to withhold judgment against those whom we believe have sinned, just like Jesus did, so that like Jesus we can offer grace, love, mercy and the message of forgiveness.

 

Let’s be wacky enough to believe what Jesus taught when he said God is for us, loves us, and has no desire to condemn us.

 

Let’s be wacky enough to believe that the God revealed in Jesus Christ really does like, love, accept, include, and adopts us as one of his own.

 

It might come as a shock to hear it said this way, but is we are really going to follow Jesus we need a bit more craziness.

 

Take an imaginary journey with me one hundred years into the future.   A church historian has been commissioned to write the history of this congregation.   She looks back to this day in the life of the church and see a time when death and despair almost won as a small group of people were about to give up, give in, submit, and surrender. Then something happened.  They decided to give themselves over completely to the Holy Spirit and they congregation went a little crazy.  They held nothing back.  They really started to love and connect with their community with passion.  They gave of themselves and their resources extravagantly.  They witnessed boldly to the grace of God.

 

What might the title of her book be when she sits down to write our story?  How about this:  “A History of the Patterson Avenue Baptist Church:  The Story About Some Wacky Christians.”

 

Folks, we need some wacked-out, insane, crazy followers of Jesus right now in the history of this congregation.  Not just here, though, the church universal needs folks that follow Jesus like this.  People who will hold nothing back.

 

Michael Curry wrote an article that struck a chord with me.   He says:

We need some crazy Christians.   Sane, sanitized Christianity is killing us…it won’t carry the gospel…We need some crazy Christians…Christians crazy enough to believe that God is real and that Jesus lives. Crazy enough to follow the radical way of the gospel. Crazy enough to believe that the love of God is greater than all the powers of evil and death.”

 

Let’s hear it for the crazy Christians.  Let’s hear it for the folks willing to live a radical life of crazy discipleship.  Let’s be so passionate in our discipleship that folks will say we are off our rocker, beside ourselves, out of our minds, crazy, insane, and totally wacked out.

 

When Steve Jobs, one of the founders of Apple, died back in 2011, the company pulled up an old commercial from 1997 in which Apple attempted to re-brand its products. The tag line for the commercial and the company was “Think different.”

 

The commercial shows a series of photos and film footage of people who lived outside the box and colored outside the lines. They were the artists and inventors who sacrificed to inspire, and who lived to create and make a difference – people like Amelia Earhart, Frank Lloyd Wright, Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King Jr., Jim Henson, Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Mahatma Gandhi and on and on and on the images rolled by. And as they did a voice spoke these words:

 

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels.

 

The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

 

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules.

 

And they have no respect for the status quo.

 

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

 

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.

 

Because they change things.

 

They push the human race forward.

 

While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

 

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. 

 

Let’s be counted among the crazy, wacky Christians, who believe that with the power of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we can change the world.

 

 

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different
by: Karen Blumenthal
publisher: Square Fish, published: 2012-02-14
ASIN: 125001445X
EAN: 9781250014450
sales rank: 4473
price: $3.99 (new), $2.48 (used)
“Your time is limited. . . . have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”–Steve Jobs

From the start, his path was never predictable. Steve Jobs was given up for adoption at birth, dropped out of college after one semester, and at the age of twenty, created Apple in his parents’ garage with his friend Steve Wozniack. Then came the core and hallmark of his genius–his exacting moderation for perfection, his counterculture life approach, and his level of taste and style that pushed all boundaries. A devoted husband, father, and Buddhist, he battled cancer for over a decade, became the ultimate CEO, and made the world want every product he touched.

Critically acclaimed author Karen Blumenthal takes us to the core of this complicated and legendary man while simultaneously exploring the evolution of computers. Framed by Jobs’ inspirational Stanford commencement speech and illustrated throughout with black and white photos, this is the story of the man who changed our world.

 

 

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