Charles Osgood remarked this past Sunday that George Burns’ first meeting with God would have been interesting to witness. Most actors feel some trepidation when they meet a person they have portrayed. This most certainly would be the case with Burns. He admitted some discomfort about playing the part of God in the movie, “Oh, God!” He was particularly uneasy about portraying God wearing a baseball cap.
I loved his portrayal of God. Those who have often heard me preach know that I am particularly fond of the film’s courtroom scene. The grocery story assistant manager, Jerry (played by John Denver), has delivered God’s message to a huckster preacher that he should go back to selling shoes. The preacher sues Jerry for slander. In court, the preacher’s attorney queries Jerry: “And the Absolute Being, the All Powerful, All Merciful, the All Knowing Infinite Spirit, the Supreme Soul, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Infinite Everlasting Eternal Being last came to you how?”
"As a bell hop."
"Your honor, I rest my case!"
The courtroom erupts into laughter. Everybody agrees. It’s utterly ridiculous to think that God would appear as a bell hop! Of course, this is no more ridiculous than to believe that God came among us as a babe in a manger or a carpenter or that God allowed human beings to nail Him to a cross.
Our gospel is ridiculous. The Apostle Paul called it "foolishness" (here he was agreeing with many of his hearers). "Foolish" though it may be, Paul also called it "the power of God." Anybody who has seen George Burns in "Oh, God!" would agree.
©1996 C. David Hess