Glen wonders what Jesus Christ and Taylor Swift have in common? The answer: “Shake It Off!”
What Jesus Chris and Taylor Swift have in common?
… I am also going to be reading the scriptures this morning. I don’t get a chance to read them because here at Orleans United Church we have a wonderful group of several dozen lay leaders who do such a good job reading scripture but over the summer every now and then it’s a good thing for the Minister to read what he is going to be preaching on.
The passage that we will hear this morning is from Marks gospel, it’s part of a long series of sign of readings that goes on for three years in the Christian community it’s called the lectionary. This is the assigned gospel for the day. I will be reading it from an interpretation of scripture, a paraphrase of scripture, called The Message by Eugene Peterson it contemporizes the text considerably, if you are interested in following along with a more traditional version there are Bibles in the pews, you can find it at Mark 6 verses 1-13.
This all takes place in this gospel as Jesus is out and about throughout the lands of Galilee around the sea of Galilee teaching and healing and interacting with people and actually creating quite a following until we beginning in Chapter 6 and hear this:
6 1-2 Jesus went from there and returned to his hometown. His disciples came along. On the Sabbath, he gave a sermon in the meeting place. He made a real hit, impressing everyone. “We had no idea he was this good!” they said. “How did he get so wise all of a sudden, get such ability and gifts?”
3 But in the next breath they were cutting him down: “He’s just a carpenter, isnt he—Mary’s boy. We’ve known him since he was a kid. We know his brothers, James, Justus, Jude, and Simon, and his sisters too. Who does he think he is?” They tripped over what little they thought they knew about him and fell, sprawling. And they never got any further.
4-6 Jesus told them, “A prophet has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives, and on the streets he played in as a child.” Now, Jesus wasn’t able to do much of anything there—he laid hands on a few sick people and healed them, that’s all. He couldn’t get over their stubbornness. So, he left and made a circuit of the other villages, teaching.
7-8 Then Jesus called the Twelve to him, and sent them out in pairs. He gave them authority and power to deal with the evil opposition. He sent them off with these instructions:
8-9 “Don’t think you need a lot of extra equipment for this. You are the equipment. No special needs. Keep it simple.
10 “And no luxury inns. Get a modest place and be content there until you leave.
11 “If you’re not welcomed, not listened to, quietly shake the dust off your feet. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way.”
12-13 Then the disciples were on the road. They preached with joyful urgency that life can be radically different; right and left they sent the demons packing; they brought wellness to the sick, anointing their bodies, healing their spirits.
This is the good news of God revealed in Jesus may we be blessed in its hearing.
So here is a summer riddle for you, to get you thinking on this lazy Sunday morning. What do Jesus Christ and Taylor Swift have in common?
They both grew up in small completely forgettable towns. Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee and Taylor from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania just about 40 miles from were I grew up in another completely forgettable town called Emmaus, Pennsylvania.
Someone said just the other day, they’ll both be in Ottawa tomorrow night at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mmm Yeah, I suppose that’s true. Swift will be on stage singing her heart out, and Christ will be in the hearts of those who love him there I suppose – yeah I guess that true …
At some point in the evening, I can promise you this Taylor and Jesus will echo each other heartfelt belief that sometimes you just have to “Shake it off”.
Cause, well in Swifts lyrics:
‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
… I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
I have know ideal what the good old folks in Wyonmissing actually think of Taylor Swift, but it wouldn’t surprise me if at least some of them even though they might brag of knowing some who is famous …were thinking “who does she think she is, singing and dancing half naked in front of millions of people? “ If you don’t believe that just go and watch that video.
We’ve known her since she been a skinny awkward kid, I thought her in grad school. I coached her in soccer. I directed her in junior choir at church. How did she get so good all of a sudden? Who does she think she is? She is just Andrea’s girl -Just one of us.
I was grateful when someone in OUC’s summer online Bible Study reminded us at Taylor Swift song Shake it off. It made me take another look at the wisdom, which Jesus discerned himself and shared with others about taking risk with living with what you honestly believe in. Sure some will second guess you, ignore you, turn their backs on you, put you down, try to make your feel worthless… but you just got to shake the dust off your feet, shrug your shoulders and be on your way.
What I became aware of in this gospel story… its not just some advice that Jesus is giving others, its wisdom that he discovered in his own struggle in his own life journey and that when it dawned on me…
How many million young hearts are encouraged by Taylor Swift’s song? Who will get up on their feet and dance in their own way… Who will hear it from Swift in a way that they could never welcome it from a concerned parent, caring teacher, a guidance counselor or even a therapist?
And that may be the biggest thing that Chris and Swift and Jesus have in common, they offer promise and hope to any who are willing to hear and trust that life is good and worth living. That who we are and what we have discovers and worth sharing and no one is always helpful and worth sharing; and no one can steal it from us.
Jesus gathers up the twelve, do you see what happened there in Nazareth.
The biggest thing Christ and Swift have in common is that they offer promise and hope to any who are willing to hear and trust that life is good and worth living at home. We are and what we have discovered is always helpful and worth sharing that no one can steal it away from us unless we allow them.
Jesus gathers up to 12 and says look and see what just happened back there in the stress well it happens to everybody every now and then life’s not always fun but you’ve got something worth sharing to go and Sharon and if it gets rough out there don’t give up. Don’t give just continue on your way trusting what you discovered sharing it with those who do Swift would say it’s like this music that’s how Brice works it’s not a guarantee that everything is going to be alright. …