Do Some Damage

Sara Leo

READ : Romans 12:1-2

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world. (v. 2 NIV)

In one episode of the animated sitcom The Simpsons, a hurricane threatens to destroy
the town of Springfield. Not surprisingly, the Simpsons’ next-door neighbors, the
Flanders, are overpreparing for the storm. The Flanders family is a parody of overzealous
Christians. They are smug, naive, and legalistic, but also surprisingly sympathetic. While
Homer Simpson gathers a few supplies and heads to the storm cellar, Ned Flanders rushes
around securing the nativity scene that stands year-round on his front lawn. As he runs,
Ned cries, “If baby Jesus got loose, he could really do some damage!”

The scene is funny, but also prophetic. Many of us spend our lives keeping Jesus
securely tied down. We reduce faith to a set of rules and regulations for right living. We
think that if we stay on the “straight and narrow,” we’re doing God’s will. But we forget
that Jesus was a radical. Jesus rejected legalistic traditions. Almost everything he did
in ministry was countercultural. He took his disciples to Samaria; he ate with tax
collectors; he hung out with prostitutes. And we are called to be like him.

Admittedly, that can be scary. Letting Jesus loose in our lives might do some damage to
the safe, secure world we have constructed. It will certainly force us to rethink our
prejudices, re-prioritize our spending, and reschedule our time.

PRAYER

Lord, give us the courage to let Jesus loose in our lives