NATIONAL LAMPOON’S GOSPEL VACATION
June 14, 2015
13-14 When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength.
15-17 Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.”
18-19 But the Jews were upset. They asked, “What credentials can you present to justify this?” Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple and in three days I’ll put it back together.”
20-22 They were indignant: “It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.
My favorite summer movie of all-time is the 1983 comedy classic National Lampoon’s Vacation, starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid, John Candy, Imogene Coca, to name a few. It chronicles the zany, over-the-top exploits of Clark Griswold as he leads his family on a cross-country expedition from Chicago to that holy grail – California’s famed, fictitious theme park Walley World.
One of the most hilarious scenes in the flick happens when Clark and family finally arrive at the amusement park after a most arduous journey. They leap out of the car and begin racing across the vast parking lot to the entrance while the theme to Chariots of Fire plays in their minds and hearts. They are totally oblivious to the parking lot being completely empty of cars.
When they arrive at the main entrance, they are greeted by a locked gate and Walley the talking, animatronic moose who informs them that the park is closed for 2 weeks for repairs.
Clark goes berserk. He punches the goofy moose in the nose, caving in its cheesy snout, and then proceeds to throw an absolute cussing hissy fit. This can’t be happening after all they have went through to get there! Can anyone relate?
This summer we are doing a sermon series entitled National Lampoon’s Gospel Vacation. We are going to hopscotch around Galilee, Judea and Samaria, exploring many of the sites Jesus makes famous with his presence and his actions. This morning we are going to visit a most holy and hallowed site—Herod’s Temple—in the heart of Jerusalem.
And we are going to explore this question: How do we ever know when confrontation is a Christian thing?