Several years ago I was browsing through a store in Southern California where I saw a ceramic chips and dip bowl with the following phrase painted on the side:
“Jesus is Coming and He’s Bringing the Bean Dip”
I was horrified.
It seemed irreverent and mocking toward the second coming of Jesus. However, time has passed and these days if I saw that bowl again I would buy it. Let me tell you why.
Jesus is Holy But He’s Also Fun
The Bible tells us that Jesus was fully God and fully human on earth. The fully human part means He experienced, well…..being human. He got hungry, tired, filled with joy, mad, tempted….basically He experienced the things we experience in all of our humanity but unlike us He didn’t ever sin. Reading through the New Testament I see all of those facets of Jesus’ personality, and more. He’s holy. He the Savior. He’s the King of heaven and earth. Everything created was made through Him. Glory, honor and reverence are due Him. But there’s one more thing. Based on what I read in the Bible and my experience of God, I think that…
Jesus is also FUN! (…gasp…)
The Gospels record many of Jesus’ miracles but they also give us a glimpse into His friendships. Jesus welcomed those who came to see Him and He lived life with them. The day-in and day-out kind of life that gets messy sometimes but is also filled with fun and joy. He spent a lot of time around the dinner table eating, drinking and sharing life with His friends. Much of that time included being with people who the self-righteous Pharisees thought were unworthy and unsavory–people like lepers, prostitutes and tax collectors. These “unsavories” were people who needed a Savior. They were people like you and me.
Do you think these dinner parties were filled with a somber-faced Jesus spouting a bunch of “thees” and “thous”? I don’t. As a friend once said, you know there had to be times when Jesus and the disciples were eating dinner and they laughed so hard that someone had wine shoot out of their nose. Because that’s what happens when friends are together. They have fun. Remember…God created friendship, joy and laughter in the first place.
Am I being irreverent? I don’t think so. I think Jesus really was that real, fun and likable.
Love, Love and More Love
Now, Jesus didn’t spend time with people just to have fun, although that’s an important part of life. Jesus had a purpose—to love people and transform their lives. He was not legalistic like the Pharisees but He did speak the truth and call people to turn from their sin and live a holy life. Jesus was straightforward in getting to the heart of the matter and yet sinners were so drawn to Him. This shows me that He was also so kind and full of genuine grace and love that it made people want to change. That is really something! That’s how we should be.
When we wear our righteousness on our sleeve, critically pass judgement and try to stuff our view points down people’s throats, love tends to get lost in translation. Jesus, on the other hand, was so full of grace, so full of love and care for the regular people He came in contact with. He was so willing to meet them exactly where they were and share His life with them….and guess what happened? When He spoke the truth to them, they actually felt loved, felt accepted and were moved to become the people God created them to be in the first place.
Christians Should Be the Most Fun People You Know
Everyone has their own definition of fun, and there are clearly worldly things some people think are fun that God calls sin. Having said that, I really do think that Christians would do well to take a page out of Jesus’ book and lighten up a little. We are graciously redeemed by God and are supposed to be filled with overflowing peace, joy and love. We should be laughing the loudest and enjoying life the most out of everyone we know. Shouldn’t we? When we are truly living out the abundant life that Jesus says He came to give us (John 10:10), it’s attractive to others and draws them to Jesus.
As For the Bean Dip…
In certain circles I happen to be known for my seven-layer bean dip. I know…what a great thing to be known for. It has always been a party favorite and highly requested. Most people love a party, because it’s fun to spend time with friends and to celebrate. And most people like a fabulous bean dip. That’s why I’m confident that if Jesus was still living in human form on earth today, as His holy and fun self, He would totally be coming to my party and He would definitely be bringing the bean dip.
(Note: Tom Edwards is the man who makes the dip bowl pictured above. For the record, he says the phrase “Jesus is Coming and He’s Bringing the Bean Dip” isn’t meant to be offensive. In fact, he says he felt relieved after it made a group of nuns giggle at an art show.)