Many a preachers have theologized about the family mealtime prayer offered by Ricky Bobby in the movie Talladega Nights. Usually we point out how this prayer is a bit of a caricature of Christianity and how it is that many Christians have some version of this prayer life.
I would like to offer up that perhaps Cal's contribution to the prayer may not be too far off the mark. Perhaps Jesus would wear a tuxedo t-shirt. Below is the clip from that prayer:
In the story of Palm Sunday Jesus rides in on a donkey to throngs of people. Part of the reason that he rides a donkey is to poke fun and overturn the more traditional festival known as the Roman Triumph. The Triumph was a festival that celebrated the military conquest of a commander on the behalf of Rome. The spoils of the war were brought in including but not limited to gold and slaves. The general would ride in on a horse drawn chariot and was adored with rich purple and a crown. Throngs of people would cheer him on. A sacrifice to the gods were made and the captors of war were slaughtered. It was a celebration that put the full force of violence on display - reinforcing the myth of redemptive violence.
So for Jesus to enter into the heart of the Jewish people on a donkey with throngs of people cheering him on is a direct mocky of the Triumph. Instead of offering a sacrifice to the gods after the Triumph, Jesus goes into the temple and drives out the corruption. To say Jesus was just choosing to ride a donkey because it was convenient misses some of the layers Jesus is trying to expose - violence cannot root out violence, only forgiveness can do that.
Today if we were to celebrate a great acheivement, say the election of a President or the academy awards, we would all put on our best clothes. Perhaps women would wear dresses and we would all talk about who wore the dress the best. Perhaps men would wear tuxedos and we would talk about which man looks the most "put together". Maybe we would even have T.V. shows dedicated to ranking people on their status as they moved into the celebration.
Maybe Jesus would be in attendance. Maybe Jesus would want to make a statement about silliness of the cult of celebrity and celebration of the mundane with such violence and injustice in the world. Maybe Jesus would want to point out that these false distinctions of status we wear on our bodies are just missing the point of what the Kingdom of God is like.
Maybe in order to make this point, Jesus might step out of his 1977 VW bus sporting a tuxedo t-shirt.
And we would laugh him out of the celebration and wonder why he would make such a mockery of such an important celebration.