Monday Morning Quarterback – Act the Part

February 26, 2018

Note: Each week we will have a guest writer who will share a few of their personal thoughts on Sunday’s sermon. Unlike Monday Morning Quarterbacking, from which this series gets its name, we aren’t looking to critique so much as share how we have been personally impacted. This week’s post comes from Dave Hallahan.

I was recently reading a story about Walt Disney’s dream for EPCOT and what it actually became. Walt, the visionary that he was, had dreamed of EPCOT as a place that included schools, residential neighborhoods, parks, churches, advanced public transportation, even skyscrapers and a sports arena. He said this place would “always be in a state of becoming. It will never cease to be a living blueprint of the future where people actually live a life they can’t find anyplace else in the world.” Lofty, to say the least. If you’ve visited Disney World, you know that EPCOT never became the cutting-edge community that Walt had imagined. You see, Disney died in 1966 and EPCOT didn’t open until October of 1982.

After his death, the new president of Disney Company said Epcot was now being reconsidered “from the point of view of economics, operations, technology and market potential.” Read that sentence again. It’s about as thrilling as the Hall of Presidents. Those who took over for Walt Disney lacked the imagination and creativity to carry out his vision.

I was reminded of this during Mark’s message yesterday. He mentioned that as Christians, we often put on disguises to influence the opinions of others. Depending on who we are around determines how strong a stance we take on any given issue. Mark also said, “how we act matters.” This is simple and true enough, but it’s so easy to ignore. We, like those who followed Walt Disney, default to what we know. For them it was “economics, operations, technology and market potential.” For so many who claim the name of Christ, we default to what we know and what we know is what our culture has taught us is acceptable.

In youth group, we’ve been talking about the Kingdom of God. This concept is often taken to refer to “heaven” or the place we’ll go to when we die. But Jesus says in Mark 1:35, “The time is fulfilled, the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” So the Kingdom of God isn’t something saved for later, it’s something that we are called to be a part of now. I think Matthew 5-7 lays out what the Kingdom of God looks like. And as I read those words of Jesus, I realize I lack the imagination and creativity to carry out his vision.

When faced with an enemy, my options appear to be fight or flight. And by fight, it’s on the grounds my enemy as established – an eye for an eye. I want to sink to the level of my enemy or lie down and take it. But Jesus, the visionary that he is, sees another way. He says to turn the other cheek, to give to him your tunic also, and to go the extra mile. Jesus sees a third way. A way in which we can stand our ground without slinging mud. A way in which we can expose the wickedness of others without partaking in that wickedness. A way that can only be seen with creativity and imagination.

But when I read those words, and so many other words of Jesus, I am tempted to reconsider them in a way that suits me. I dumb them down by over spiritualizing them to a point where they are nice, but mostly meaningless.

How we act matters. As a Christian, I am supposed to be reflecting to the world the life of Christ. That means I need to be constantly reminding myself of what he said and did. It also means I need to have the creativity and imagination that allowed him to look beyond the Kingdom of Rome – which valued power and might at all costs – and see the Kingdom of God where the poor, meek, and persecuted were considered blessed. I need to be able to see beyond the Kingdom of America and see the Kingdom of God.