December 15, 2006
In the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy, the star of the show, makes a comment to her loyal pet that goes something like this: “Toto, we’re not in Kansas any more.” While the facts of the statement were indisputably true, there was an implied meaning to the statement that more often corresponds with the way that the statement is used.
Perhaps the most appropriate parallel connects to a traffic sign that I drive by every day on my way home from work. The diamond shaped sign reads: “End Safety Zone.” Yes, I think this is the implied meaning that Dorothy poured into the words of her famous script.
Whether the change is initiated or accidental, when we “leave Kansas” we acknowledge a significant, and at times risky, portion of our journey.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. ~ Phil. 2:5-8
Jesus, the spotless son of the eternal God. Jesus, the creator of the universe. Jesus, an equal part of the transcendent Trinity. Jesus, “God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God” (Nicene Creed). This same Jesus left Kansas for something far more treacherous than a “Yellow Brick Road.”
Jesus departure from the safety zone changed everything. Not just his own existence, but for ours as well. He became both a rescuer and an escort. He saves us, but he also propels us… into hostile places, but never alone.
The scandal of Christmas is that Jesus, as part of a perfect redemptive plan, left.
The scandal of the Christian life is that Jesus now lives in us, and because of this, we’ll never be in Kansas again.
No more safety zone. No more Kansas. Jesus.