Pastor's Note - September 16
On Tuesday of this week, comedian Norm MacDonald passed away at 61 after quietly battling cancer for a number of years. Norm MacDonald came to fame on Saturday Night Live in the early 90s, and made a career as a stand-up, actor, and television personality with a remarkably unique, even avant-garde, comedic sensibility. On the day of his death, the internet went into a frenzy of sharing some of his jokes and comedic appearances, particularly on late night talk shows. You got the sense that every comedian’s favorite comedian was Norm MacDonald – at least for that day. It’s fair to say he was and is almost universally beloved by those in the entertainment and comedy world. I won’t rehearse any of his off-kilter jokes here, other than his now-more-meaningful riff on cancer; “I’m pretty sure, I’m not a doctor, but… I mean if you die, the cancer also dies at exactly the same time. So to me, that’s not a loss. That’s a draw.” Obviously he had an ability to look at life through a different lens; a lens that was almost always sarcastic and gleefully cynical. That may be what enabled him to consider Christ and the Christian faith. Not many are aware of it, but Norm seemed to have become a believer in his later years. I knew he was interested in things of religion and faith, but I wasn’t aware that he did indeed claim to be a Christian. In one interview with Larry King, he did just that. Telling Larry that he knew it wasn’t a popular thing to say, he claimed to be a believer in Jesus. In 2017, he tweeted; “Scripture. Faith. Grace. Christ, Glory of God. Smart man says nothing is a miracle. I say everything is.” In his own way, it seemed he was pondering somewhat the same thing that Paul says in 1 Corinthians, that the wisdom of man is foolishness compared to the wisdom of God in Christ. Of course I am not God, and I don’t know Norm’s ultimate fate. From what I can tell, he appears to have put his ultimate faith in the Lord Jesus. Whatever the case, it shows once again that we never know what struggles people may have, what they may be pondering or believing in their own lives, and what God may be doing in the hearts of the seemingly most unlikely people. Even people who made a living by making a joke out of life itself.