Not long ago someone told me about this video.
I have started showing it when I speak because it sums up the kind of thing I am trying to do. The message has not changed over 2000 years, but the means of communication has. The way we speak, the references we use, the humour, it’s all changed. And we don’t really want old language to cloud the issue when we communicate. Jesus once told his friends, ‘I am giving you the keys of the kingdom, what you bind on earth is bound in heaven and what you loose on earth is loosed in heaven.’ This was a saying the rabbis used, which meant – I have given you my teaching and now I want you to unlock if for others. And when you do, says Jesus, heaven gets involved. When we let loose the good news, through our actions, our attitudes, our kindness, our speech, our way of living, our treatment of others, the stories we tell, etc. when we do that, heaven gets involved.
Which is kind of the reason for doing The Groovy Gospel. It’s another way of unlocking the kingdom for others. It’s a way of taking the old message and retelling it. I was chatting to a friend the other night about the power of telling stories. And it struck me that if we don’t revamp and reboot the old parables that Jesus told, then we may be less likely to pass them on. You see, when Jesus and the prophets told their stories, and acted them out sometimes, they were vital and contemporary. They hit people in the gut and slapped them round the face. They shocked folks, made them laugh, made them angry. And when a story does these things you are very likely to post them up on your Facebook page, or tweet them. But many of the Bible stories don’t have that impact on us because we don’t get them in the way the first hearers did.
The Groovy Gospel is a way of revisiting these stories and discovering them in today’s language, with today’s reference points. There are lots of Tim Wakeling’s great cartoons in there and a clutch of quirky quizzes. Our hope is that you’ll find it unexpected, funny and thought provoking. Here’s a bit to close…
22. Nick in the Night
Another man came to see Jesus really late one night. He
was called Nicodemus. Jesus told him that becoming a
Christian is like…
1. Being born again
2. Being bored again
3. Being in bed again
4. Being bopped on the head again
He told Nicodemus it was like starting your life all over
again. Not as a little baby, but with everything a little
bit new. And many things changed. Not necessarily
feeling different, but wanting to be different. Like
coming to a crossroad and choosing to take a new road.
This was a big thing for Nicodemus because he thought
he had everything sorted out, yet here was Jesus telling
him to start again.
What else did Jesus talk about with Nicodemus?
1. A snake on a pole
2. A vulture in a pie
3. A tiger in a tank
4. A dog on a tightrope
In the Old Testament there’s a story about Moses
making a snake out of bronze and lifting it up on a big
pole. Some people had been bitten by desert snakes
and when they looked up to the snake on the pole,
what do you think happened?
1. They got better
2. They got worse
3. They got measles
4. They got famous
When the people looked at the snake on the pole, God
cured them of the snake bites. It wasn’t the snake on
the pole that cured them; it was doing what God asked
them to do.
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