Because Most People Stop With the Z

200px-on_beyond_zebraAt a packed house Easter sermon this morning, our pastor read from Dr. Seuss’ classic but lesser known work, On Beyond Zebra. Now, this didn’t surprise me, since as I’ve noted briefly before, he twitters ideas from the sermons he is working on each week. 

But I hadn’t read this particular work before so I wasn’t sure what theological bent it could possibly have.

But now I agree with our twittering pastor: this really is the Best. Easter. Story. Ever. 

This is possibly an ideal story to introduce the varieties of intepretation. It’s about possibility and hope.  It’s about imagination. It’s about the need to think outside the box. And, oh, yes, for all those pastors with a popular culture bent, it’s about the Christ who has risen indeed. 

Said Conrad Cornelius o”Donald o’Dell,
My very young friend who is learning to spell:
“The A is for Ape. And the B is for Bear.
The C is for camel. The H is for Hare.
The M is for Mouse. And the R is for Rat.
I know all the twenty-six letters like that.

“..through to Z is for Zebra.
I know the all well.”
Said Conrad Cornelius o’Donald o’Dell.
“So now I know everything anyone knows,
from beginning to end. From the start to the close.
Because Z is as far as the alphabet goes.”

Then he almost fell flat on his face on the floor
When I picked up the chalk and drew one letter more!
A letter he never had dreamed of before!
And I said, “You can stop, if you want, with the Z
Because most people stop with the Z
But not me!

“In the places I go there are things that I see
That I never could spell if I stopped with the Z.
I’m telling you this ’cause you’re one of my friends.
My alphabet starts where your alphabet ends!”

6 responses to “Because Most People Stop With the Z

  1. Just like me to leave a drive-by (on your last post) and forget to check back. I hadn’t read On Beyond Zebra ! So it’s great to discover it via your blog and to imagine what a clever sermon that must have been.

  2. A “drive by”: that’s a keeper for the language of blogs!

    The pastor called Dr. Seuss, tongue in cheek, “that great theologian”: others, of course, see him as more like a rhyming, snarkier Stephen Colbert. When I was searching for the quote from the book I found endless websites (some from other pastors, so it’s obviously a contemporary “sermon-topic”) to see all who have adopted Seuss as representing their view of the world….

  3. I love the Quandairy and the Thnadners and the Itch a Pods and the Flunnel and the Zat Zit! Please post their rhymes and pictures.

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