Sunday, September 11, 2011
The Role of the Holy Fool ...
I've always loved comedy.
I remember as a kid watcing shows like Carol Burnett and rolling on the floor laughing. To put it in context, as a kid we had tv pillows made by our neighbour Mr. Baumbach that we laid on on the floor right in front of the old console Zenith in the living room. So, rolling on the floor was just part of a normal night of tv viewing.
Having said that though, comedy has been an important ribbon running through my life since childhood. I love to laugh, and I love to laugh at the comedic genius of anyone from Laurel & Hardy through to modern comedians like Russell Peters, George Carlin, Ron James and the late great Bill Hicks.
I'll openly admit that I had never heard of Bill Hicks until Katie (of the blog At the Half Note) suggested then sent a cd of his comedy to me. I was awestruck ... I listened to the cds of this comedic genius over and over and over ... I searched out a book of his musings, and I managed to find a dvd of his routines. I've referenced him numerous times around here, and I'll even proudly proclaim that I've referenced him in my sermons on several occassions.
Most recently was today ... I used Bill's wise statement about the world being nothing more than a ride, as the opening salvo in my 9/11 Anniversary Reflection.
My motivation was and remains simple - I wanted to use something that challenges us to look beyond the fear and insecurity that grips our modern era, and instead hear words of HOPE that challenge us to move PAST our fear and embrace more positive feelings and thoughts like love ... and Mr Bill Hicks, a man who harshly (and perhaps rightly) criticized the Church, offers those words for us ...
So, I quoted from him, and celebrated the necessary role of 'The Fool' in our midst, particularly in times when we seem intent on other things ... The role of the Fool in Shakespearean literature is that of the wise man speaking the truth that no one wants to hear ... Today in our post-9/11 world I would dare to suggest that Bill Hicks represents such a Holy Fool who speaks the truth we need to hear.
I'll be posting my sermon shortly over at my blog "United Church in the Grey Highlands" ... let me know what you think ...
In the meantime ... thoughts and prayers for our troubled world today and always!