He was telling me about a cool idea for a teaching series he'd been doing. I liked it, then challenged him to do a series called, "The Verses No One Ever Preaches About Because, Frankly, We Don't Like Them."
I suggested starting with the part where Jesus says if somebody takes something from us, we're not supposed to even ask for it back. Jesus even says it right smack in front of the Golden Rule, so you'd think that there would have some prime real estate, and get preached on all the time. But, even growing up fundamentalist, I never once heard a sermon on that one. Never.
I think it's the Most Willfully Ignored Saying of Jesus.
My pastor-friend said maybe it's because we haven't developed an understanding of that verse yet.
Laughter! But seriously, folks. Oh, we understand it. It ain't complex. It's just that, you know, nobody likey. C'mon: Let's say someone shorts you payment of something, knowing full-well what they did. You're not even going to ask for it back? Let's not take this too far, here, folks.
Can we do another series that sorta ties in with the "Transformers" movie?
(BTW, I was reading one commentator on this scripture. He says we're not supposed to take Jesus literally here, because if we took his "also give him your shirt," teaching literally for when the guy who takes your coat, we'd be supporting "nudism". Nice effort, there, commentator-feller. The Message takes a crack at softening it here.)
So, anyway, if you're a Christian teacher-type, you're a star in the Krusty-book for going with that series idea sometime.
Double Krusty Points for keeping it as understandable as Jesus did. Krusty Points are irredeemable for prizes.
Double-NEGATIVE points if you twist it to retrofit our lifestyles and make it less threatening than it obviously is.
Move two spaces forward, and take another turn, if you have the innards to try this, without watering it down, and telling people to actually do it. ("The goal is...what, comrade?")
And quadruple Krusty Points for teaching this and then going directly into a Tomlin song.
Plus, a generous severance.