Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Play and Have Fun - A Serious Suggestion of Jesus

   Children are many things: filled with energy, quick to trust, in a perpetual state of wonder always asking why. I would add to this list playful; children are playful at their core. So, it is worth noting that Jesus points us to children as the models for those who will enter paradise.

“I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven." - Jesus in Matthew 18:2

I am reading A Failure of Nerve, the book that Edwin Friedman was working on at his untimely death in 1996. He was an ordained Jewish Rabbi, family therapist, and leadership consultant, whose earlier book, Generation to Generation, is an all-time best for leaders and pastors. The book I am reading now is phenomenal, as it predicted so much of the decline of civility in politics, in families, and in the public sphere. Based on his years of experience and wisdom, he offers the causes for the chronic anxiety that families and our world are struggling with. In the middle of the first point on reactivity he says, "What also contributes to this loss of perspective is the disappearance of playfulness, an attribute that originally evolved with mammals and which is an ingredient in both intimacy and the ability to maintain distance" (p. 63). Fascinating, but surely this is true. We act badly, in part, because we have lost the ability to turn off seriousness. People don't play enough. We no longer value fun.
   What a brilliant word for Bonaire Church as this weekend approaches. We are offering two opportunities to simply have fun. On Friday evening, we will listen, sing and eat for no other purpose than to enjoy life. On Sunday afternoon, we will gaze upon children running here and there in pursuit of candy-filled eggs. Jesus says he came that we might have life abundantly; I think he believes that involves more than paychecks, deadlines, to-do lists, and earthly pursuits.
   Grace and peace, Scott

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