Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Playful God, Playful Church

This is Bishop Jake's sermon from the convention Eucharist. Enjoy!

See if you can remember when and where you first heard these phrases: 
“Ready or not, here I come.”
“You’re it!”
“Red Rover, Red Rover, send Boudreaux right over.”
“Come out, come out, wherever you are!”
Many of us first heard these phrases as children.  We were playing outside. 
Kick the can, tag, Red Rover, and hide and seek.  At the end of long summer days our parents would call us back into the house as the sun was slipping below the horizon.
Sometimes that call sounded something like, “Jacob Wayne, don’t make me call you in here one more time!” We were having too much fun to stop.  That’s what it’s like to play.
God created us in his image.  And we most closely resemble God when we’re at play.  That’s because God is playful.
That may sound odd.  Play just doesn’t sound serious enough for God.  It’s so, well, unproductive.  It seems almost frivolous.  And yet, our God is exactly that.  Playful to his very core.
And here’s the kicker for the Church, that is, for you and for me and for our congregations.  God bends down to touch the earth through his Church.  God intends for his Church to be the means by which heaven infiltrates our very ordinary lives.  
So if we are going to be the conduit through which God makes his presence felt and known, then we will do well to get our head around God’s playfulness.  Because only a playful Church can make the playful God known.
Let me explain what I mean by addressing a couple of questions:
How is God playful?
What does having a playful God mean for us as the Church?
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