This blog entry is from part of a sermon I preached on James 3:1-12.
You know, I think Jesus went about this earth trying to let people know what heaven was like. Something about the kingdom of God maybe. It actually reminds me of a movie. It is one that your teenagers and pre-teens know about. And even my three-year-old ds knows about this one. I have a dvd player in my car to keep my ds occupied—and boy, does it ever work. My ds’s favorite movie right now is High School Musical, and I have listened to it over and over as I drive him around town: to school, to soccer, to church. So if you happen to see me in my mini-van, driving around and singing (and maybe even dancing a little) please know that I am not possessed.
High School Musical is a made-for-tv movie whose main audience is teenagers and tweens (or pre-teens). It is a musical, so there is dancing and singing—and a message. You see, the movie is about Troy, the basketball star, and Gabriella, the science genius. They are from separate worlds, separate cliques, but they find a common bond in singing. Their classmates get more and more anxious about the blurring of lines and the threat to the status quo of the school. In the climax of the movie, Troy is confronted by his basketball team. They trick him into saying that Gabriella means nothing and the singing is just a way to keep his nerves down before the big championship game. And Gabriella’s science friends show her through streaming video what Troy has said. See how much trouble came from Troy’s tongue? Of course, it is a Disney movie, so the ending is a happy one. Troy asks for forgiveness, and Troy and Gabriella do sing in the audition. The whole school, from basketball jocks to science geeks, from skater dudes to drama queens—everyone realizes that they are a part of the school, and they are all in this world together.
And that is where something reminds me about the kingdom of God. Jesus came to a world full of cliques. The Pharisees thought they were the most devout. The Zealots thought they were the most passionate. The rich ruled over the poor. The Romans dwelled in the land. And in the face of it all, a carpenter walked among them and taught them about the kingdom of God. It is a place of unity for us. Paul told the Ephesians to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (4:3 TNIV). That same unity will ensure that we have blessings instead of cursings, fresh water instead of salt water, love instead of hate.