My husband Jeff, tells a story that when he was in school he was required to make a speech in one of his classes. So he choose this:
“Ladies and gentlemen, dogs and cats, cross eyed mosquitoes and bowlegged nats, I come before you, not behind you, to tell you something I know nothing about. Last night, this morning, two babies got up to fight, back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot each other, a deaf policeman who heard the noise, and come and shot those two dead boys, if you don’t believe this lie is true, ask the blind man he saw it too. “
This limerick nonsense verse is a form of nonsense literature usually employing strong prosodic elements. I think Jeff just liked it because it didn’t make any sense and caused people to think. He still remembers it today and it is a favorite of our children and grandchildren.
As he was quoting it for the upteenth time to our children this week. It got me thinking the contrast of each statement. “I come before you, not behind you”. “Back the back they faced each other” and so on. Statements like this are confusing to people and often so is the way we live our lives as Christians.
We can claim to love God, but we hate His people. We say we believe in God but we don’t believe in His church. We condemn and call out others for their sins while we still sin ourselves. We say we believe the bible but yet we pick and choose what we want to believe from His word. We say we are Christ followers but we only follow what we want in the bible.
We can’t have it both ways. The limerick verse is nonsense literature that we laugh at and enjoy for a good time, but if we decide to live our lives like that we are only asking for trouble. We can’t claim to believe in God and not believe in His church, when God design the church to expound His message to the world by encouraging and educating the believers.
We can’t condemn others for their sins, when we ourselves are sinners. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. Perhaps it would be a good idea for us, to show that same love that God showed to us, to others. We need to live our lives as Christ lived His and that was not in a Limerick attitude.
The Sadducees and Pharisees had a Limerick moment as well in the bible, you see they had added 611 commandments to the original ten God had given Moses and in their effort to defame Jesus they questioned Him. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:34-40
You see in this life, we can get so focused on what other people are doing or think of us, that we forget what God said. We need to remember that God’s word is the final word and He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His words does not change He is the one constant in the ever changing world. So no matter what others may say or do we need to remember that loving God and others is the most important thing we can do.