The Buzzkill Jesus

The Urban Dictionary defines "buzzkill" as someone or something that spoils or ruins an otherwise enjoyable event. We've all had those people or events in our lives that seem to ruin the moment for us.

There was a young grad from Harvard who was excited thinking about his future. He got into a taxi the day of his graduation and received a cheerful hello from the cabby. "How are you today?", said the taxi driver. "I'm great! I just graduated from Harvard today and I can't wait to see what my future has in store for me!" The driver looked back at him, shook his hand, and introduced himself saying, "Hi. I'm Mitch -- Harvard class of '99."

Buzzkill.

When Jesus started his public ministry, the gospels of Mark and Matthew record Jesus saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is here." His message was the same to everyone: repent. In other words, things have got to change.

These seem like old-fashioned words to us, so let's unpack them a little bit. "Repent" doesn't mean remorse or regret. As a parent, I hear a whole lot of "I'm sorry" that doesn't really change a thing. Repent means to turn or go a different direction. This is one of the reasons why people think Jesus is a buzzkill. He enters the scene and says to us, "You think that's life, but let me show you what life really is." He tells us something has to change. While Jesus does affirm the worth of every person with his love, he doesn't affirm the path people have chosen. He comes in and insists we go another way.

His way. He calls it the kingdom of heaven.

Three men were fishing in a boat on a lake when one got thirsty. He jumped out of the boat and walked across the water to the shore, grabbing a Coke before walking back to the boat. The second man thought that was a good idea, so he did the same thing. The third man said, "If they can do it, I can do it." He jumped out of the boat and promptly sank out of sight. The other guys looked at each other and said, "Guess we should have told him where the rocks were."

Jesus says to us, "This is the way that leads to life. Walk in it. Come, follow me." Life in my kingdom is better than anything and everything else you'll find here, because they way things are here are not the way things should be. Jesus meets us on our journey and then invites us to join him on his.

To change course.

This isn't buzzkill. This is love. This is a better way.