In today’s Daily Office from the Book of Common Prayer, the gospel of Mark offers this little window into the life of Jesus:
Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” (Mark 3:20-21)
For better or worse, I find – that at this point in my life – I’ve become a “generally respectable” person. By virtue of my age, my line of work, and my typical predisposition – and by virtue of what I’d like to think are many years of being gradually remade in the image of Christ – I tend to spend my days in a way that keeps me out of trouble, that allows me to make progress toward socially acceptable goals, and that seems to secure for me the approval of others.
And make no mistake: I’m not knocking this! There’s plenty in the Bible that appears to call us toward this kind of life, at least on the surface. In fact, today’s Daily Office reading from the book of Ephesians calls us to “put off the old self” and “put on the new self,” which is then described in terms of speaking truthfully, handling anger appropriately, refraining from theft and so on. (See Ephesians 3:22-32)
But then again, there is something about the Jesus I meet in scripture that is “uncontrollably wild.” The Jesus of the gospels got himself executed as a dangerous revolutionary, and even his family said, “He’s out of his mind.” I’m not sure I can remember the last time I allowed faith to guide me into actions that made others say: “He’s crazy.”
Christian musician Steven Curtis Chapman actually wrote a song that reflects on this dynamic. The chorus says:
And it’s crazy when love gets a hold of you
And it’s crazy things that love will make you do
And it’s crazy but it’s true, you really don’t know love at all
Til it’s making you do something crazy
Something Crazy, Steven Curtis Chapman
What might it look like today for us to be “out of our minds” in love with Jesus?
Listen to Him. Trust Him. And then – go crazy.