Saturday, February 26, 2011


The following in an anecdote from a sermon by Ian Noyes, my pastor in college.  Check out his other sermons.

I was thinking about how so often we tend to reduce the bigness of God's story to a very small thing.  And I started to think about that about a year ago when our family went to see a play at Grove City College where we used to live in Pennsylvania.  We went and saw the play "My Fair Lady..."  [It's about] a woman who is elevated in a lot of ways.  Through some training and friendship, she actually becomes a sophisticated woman.  It's a marvelous story of love and redemption, and it's really funny.  But there's one particular part in which her Cockneyed English is being addressed and she is told to repeat by the professor she is working with, "The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane."  And then he asks her to do this and to say this with a bunch of marbles in her mouth.  

And I remember as we were coming home from the play, I turned to my kids and said to them, "What did you think of that play?  What was your favorite part?"  My youngest Issac turned to me and he said, "If you swallow a marble, it will come out in your poo-poo."  And I thought to myself, "Hm.  Interesting to have seen the entire play and that be your take-home message."

We do that with the Gospel in so many ways.  We take this grand, mosaic story, this amazing story of God's abundant love for us, how he has poured himself out for us, for our benefit.  And how he has died on the cross that we might be forgiven.  We take all of that and reduce it to one more transaction in our life.  We seem to reduce it to this sense that maybe if we behave, that we'll get into heaven.  When we do that, it is almost as if our take home message is, "If you swallow a marble, it will come out in your poo-poo." 
Issac and me, a few years ago

How do we live, and avoid being focused only on poo-poo?

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