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Bizarro World

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler

a cottage is built upside down, with the door in the roof, which is the foundation

Some of you are probably too young to remember Bizarro World, a fictional place introduced by DC Comics in the 1960s. This strange, cube-shaped planet, also known as Htrae (Earth spelled backward), is populated by Bizarro and his sidekicks, who are weird mutations of Superman and his friends. Their Bizarro Code goes like this:

“Us do opposite of all earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!”

Besides regrettable deficits in the grammar department, Bizarro World also has a rather strange monetary system, as evidenced by the salesman who hawks Bizarro bonds with the catchy slogan: “Guaranteed to lose money for you.”

A fan of all things Superman, comedian Jerry Seinfeld is one of several who have helped enshrine Bizarro World in popular culture. In one episode of his sitcom, Seinfeld’s character discusses the pilot for a program with executives from NBC. Hoping to up the ante, his friend George Costanza tries to negotiate for more money. But as a result of his bungling, the pilot is canceled and later reinstated for less money. “You don’t negotiate to get a lower salary!” Jerry exclaims. “That’s negotiation on the Bizarro World!”

What could Bizarro World possibly have to do with biblical peace?

Well, look at it this way. When Jesus came, he turned everything upside down. He said the first would be last and the last would be first. He said that when someone strikes you on your cheek, you should turn the other cheek for the next blow. He said if a person takes your shirt, you should offer your coat as well. He said that anyone who wants to be great should humble herself like a little child. Following Jesus as he turns your world upside down is the only way to true peace, strange as that may seem.

Compared to Christ’s Kingdom, our world is not that dissimilar to Bizarro World. On planet Earth, life doesn’t work the way it was meant to. But fortunately for us, Christ is not content to leave it that way. Instead, he has begun to remake the world one heart at a time, spreading his peace, establishing his love, enabling us to live the life he offers.

Originally published December 29, 2016.

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