Dear Hyde Park Family,
The Museum of Illusions just opened this month in Dubai, U.A.E., and features a fascinating exhibit called The Upside-Down Room, in which a person can be photographed with the optical illusion that they are dangling from the ceiling. Since its debut, this part of the museum has been a social media hit, with large numbers of people posting pictures of themselves upside-down.
“When engaging with our illusions, your mind will combine some details and exclude others to create a sensory experience that defies logic,” says manager Varvara Svischeva.
The Upside-Down Room reminds me of a YouTube video I saw recently of two friends doing hilarious experiments with inversion goggles, which completely flip their field of vision. They take up a series of competitive challenges made up of performing simple tasks while wearing the special glasses. Their attempts to write their name, pour liquid into a bottle, and step over hurdles are met with hilarious results.
Not only does seeing the world upside-down defy logic, it is hard to retrain our brains to see the world in any other way than the way we are accustomed to seeing it. But that is exactly what Jesus calls us to do.
THE UPSIDE-DOWN LIFE
Often in the Gospels, Jesus called his disciples to live counter-cultural to the conventional wisdom of the world, challenging them to invert their priorities and perspectives to be more in line with the Kingdom of God.
In the span of just 50 verses, all in Mark chapter 10, he completely inverted the way we ought to see God, ourselves, and the life we are called to live. These verses constitute our new four-part worship series, called “The Upside-Down Life,” which starts this Sunday.
- In a world where the vulnerable and powerless are relegated to the bottom rung, Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.” (Mark 10:2-16; Sept. 30)
- In a world where power is measured by the influence one accrues, Jesus said, “The first will be last and the last will be first.” (Mark 10:17-31, Oct. 7)
- In a world where greatness is antithetical to servanthood and humility, Jesus said he came “not to be served, but to serve.” (Mark 10:35-45, Oct. 14)
- In a world that seems gripped by darkness, Jesus came to bring sight to the blindness of our ways. (Mark 10:46-52, Oct. 21)
No, it is not easy to live the way Jesus is calling us to live. But by the power of God’s grace, and with a deep enough commitment, we can actually retrain our hearts to live the upside-down life. So, join us starting this Sunday, and be prepared to be amazed.
Grace and Peace,
The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist