As I was reading his article, my thoughts went back to my own time in Turkey with Jeanie, and I recalled, among other things, some of the stories of the Hodja, Nasrudin Hodja – the sage, the holy one. Think of him as Chance the Gardener, played by Peter Sellers in the 1979 film Being There (adapted from a novel by Jerzy Kosiński.
Here’s one of his stories:
Nasrudin Khodzha said to the people who were gathered at the mosque, "Do you know what I'm going to say?"
"No, we don't know."
"Well, if you don't know, I have nothing to say to you."
The next time, he asked them again, "Do you know what I'm going to say?"
"Yes, we know!"
"Well, if you already know, I have nothing to say to you."
The next time he asked again, "Do you know what I'm going to say?"
Half of the congregation said "We know" and the other half said, "We don't know."
And so Nasrudin said, "Let those of you who know, tell those of you who don't!"
So, on EASTER Sunday, you tell that little story and then continue by saying: “Do YOU know what I am going to say to you?”
“No, we don’t know,” they will say.
“I say to you, Christ is RISEN!”
And they will say, “Christ is risen, indeed!”