Monday, April 28, 2008
Fun With Jesus
"'To each his own," said the old lady as she kissed the cow."
Another of my mother's famous sayings. She has approximately 695 angels in her house. She may have 600 or so actual angels, but that 's not what I'm taking about. I mean she has angel statues. The only rule, to begin with, was that it was a 'pretty' angel, not a glumpy looking wooden thing made out of old thread spools or petrified marshmellows. Now there are two rules. Any incoming angels have to be both pretty and 'unusual'. Truth be told, some of the new 'unusual' ones are not very pretty, but they are interesting enough to get past the pretty requirements.
While I enjoy her angel collection, I would never want to do that much dusting. I do enough pew dusting to not want to add any more dusting to my life. Although, with Sister Nicholas around, I could bring home the Sistene Chapel, and everything would be categorized and squeaky clean, not to mention rearranged, every week.
I think you should check out this Jesus puppet:
what are your thoughts? Is it sacrilegious? I think it's cute.
I can understand why you think it's cute. You must have been raised in the Muppet generation. When the Muppets came along, my mother was irritated that anyone would spend any time watching those ugly puppets. Most people think they are cute.
For me, the problem is not whether or not the Jesus puppet is cute.
The problem I am having is what happens when you actually 'play' with the Jesus puppet. That's where things are going to go horribly wrong.
1. You are going to have to say things Jesus said. While that is a good thing, I don't think it's really going to happen. It's going to be hard for you to 'play' with Jesus and not editorialize, paraphrase, modernize, add slang, etc. Who knows what claptrap you'll end up with.
2. You'll have to come up with some kind of puppet voice for Jesus. What will you do? A low voice? A high voice? Maybe you'll throw in an accent. Whatever you do, it will double the effect of the editorializing, paraphrasing, modernizing, slang, etc.
The idea of that thing flapping its puppet jaws with some puppet voice and trying to be Jesus just makes my cottage cheese go large curd.
Why do we feel the need to make Jesus cute, or our pal? I have a hunch about why. The things He had to say were radical, often offensive, to the people to which He was speaking. The things He asked us to do are just about impossibly difficult. Love your enemies. Has He never heard of 9-11? Apparently not.
Better to have Him out on the soccer field or all soft and felty on your hand, clapping His cardboard mouth up and down so the little kids know He's their buddy.
The "sports Jesus" line has always offended my, by the way. Just who's side is Jesus on here? Is the other kid a little Lutheran or something?
I understand the impetus to get Jesus out of the church and into your life in some immediate, relevant way. Poor old Jesus, His words and teachings are just not enough. He has to play golf.
But to each his own. Some of us like kissing cows.