“Weird, weird, weird, da, da bada da. Weird, weird, weird.”
That’s the refrain from a song I heard in my childhood, entitled “I Get Weird”. It wasn’t any chart topper. Written by John Christensen, it made it’s way to fame as the winner of the 1982 new song competition on the Dr. Demento show. Unlike,”Everything is Awesome”, (used in children’s sermon) “I Get Weird” is just oddball enough that I thought better of playing it here during worship. You can look it up on youtube when you get home, and you’ll hear how weird it really is.
Weird isn’t just a word used in that 1980’s oddball song. Shakespeare used it in his play MacBeth. He named the three Women Fates, the Weird Sisters, because that word “weird” at that time didn’t just mean odd or strange. It was used to describe speak of supernatural things. Other worldly things.
Things that are not quite of this world. Or as Jesus says in his prayer for his disciples, that we in one sense overheard this morning. Or when we remember that we are his followers, his disciples, we hear his words (his prayer) for us. And in this prayer–Jesus describes his followers as those who were given to him “from the world”, “in the world”, “not belonging to the world”, “not taken out of the world, do not belong to the world”, “sent into the world”. Theologians have described us as the church as “in but not of” the world. While we are in the world, we are also otherworldly. We, you and me, my dear brothers and sisters of the church. We are weird
We are part of creation. We participate in the natural processes of life. Laws of nature, law of gravity, law of senecense (meaning we get old), space time continuum. These all apply to us. Last time I checked I couldn’t run at the speed of light, the speed of a cheetah, or even the speed of a healthy young teen or 20 something. So we are part of this world, dependent upon this world for life. So, while we’re here, we are in the world.
But it really seems like Jesus is trying to make sure that the church isn’t the same thing as the world. We are otherworldly. Ok, we are weird. We are so weird. That we just don’t quite fit the world around us.
Now to be sure that we are doing this whole weird thing right. I did what any 60 or younger, white, middle class person would do. I went to the internet, specifically I went to wiki, not pedia–but it’s evil helpful twin– wiki how which attempts to answer all of our “how” querries and questions. And there it was a 6 step, 4 part answer on “how to be weird”.
Let’s go through this shall we! – This is where it gets “interactive”
Invent your own places, and customs. Invent a holiday, give it a weird name, and then when the day comes around, get decked out. What do you think folks? Holiday’s or holy days. We right between two: Ascension and Pentecost. Of course, the world has been trying to steal and co-opt our main holidays – Christmas and easter – Christmas isn’t about shopping and parties. Easter isn’t about bunny’s and chocolate. Reformation Day, Epiphany, Lent. Just a few holidays.
2. Talk to random people in the streets and say ridiculous things. Has anybody ever done this? God bless you (not just an automatic thoughtless, but really mean it). I’ll pray for you. You are forgiven. God loves you. God is great!
3. Make up new words. Or as I have observed, if not terribly creative just keep use old odd words – Anybody have any ideas? Narthex, liturgy, hymns, eucharist, offering, creed, kyrie, stole, alb, parament, nave, chancel, sacristy,
4. Have strange taste in food. – Communion – meal sip or wine and this is bread, that’s not even the weirdest — we call it the body and blood of Jesus – how weird is that?
5. Choose a strange hobby. – What could we call our hobby, or more accurately our mission, what we do? Worship. Love. But this isn’t the same love that the world teaches, shows, offers. We have weird love, because who do we love? Love and work for everyone to fully be part of the church, fully live and men and women, rich and poor, young and old, no matter their ethnicity, gay, straight, trans, abled or disabled. Weird right
This week sadly again with violence of all types around us, and Boston marathon bomber – tzarnaev sentenced to die for placing the bomb in the crowd of men women and children-we have to remember that our love is so weird it’s not just for those we like, we agree with, but even for those who would hurt and kill us. Remember that love your enemy, I didn’t make that crazy up. Jesus said it. Out of this world, and really really crazy hard to do.
Weird, weird, weird. A lot of our friends, family, even our heart may say we are wrong, weird, not right. But that is what it is to be one with Jesus. Jesus doesn’t pray for us to go with the flow, to fit in, to do even what is common sense or the will of the majority. God’s love calls for justice, to stand up to racist systems, to speak for creation so that we do not ignore, pretend or lie about the science of climate change, to work to ensure that peace is not just spoken but practiced, that the poor are fed not just some calories but with dignity and respect. That we worship together, pray for, speak, listen, and act with one another. Let us own this otherworld we believe in and pray for. Let us not just whisper it in our hearts and in our homes. Let us be weird, let us speak weird, let us act weird, let us love and live weird, because that’s what Jesus asks God for us. It is his prayer. Church, let’s get weird, weird, weird. Amen.