Monday, June 23, 2008

Relevant Life, Relevant Church Part 2 - Sean

I’ve come to the point where I confidently believe that being relevant to our culture, and the people around us is not an option. Being relevant means that what we do as followers of Jesus, as a Church need to make sense and matter to unbelievers. We can’t forget the love that Jesus has for those who haven’t decided to come to Him yet. The Bible says that they are like lost sheep and He is willing to go after them. Not only does He go after them, he commissioned the Church to go after them and this is where relevance becomes more than just a good thought.

There’s this close friend of mine named Legesse Awoke. He’s from Ethiopia but came to America about 8 years ago. His native language is Amharic, but he speaks English really well, even though he has a thick accent. Eventually his brother came over from Ethiopia and moved in with him. Whenever I would visit his place, I noticed that the whole time he and his brother were speaking in English, even when they were just having a private conversation with each other. They wouldn’t speak Amharic. One time I asked him, “Legesse, why don’t you and your brother speak Amharic when I’m around?” He said, “No Sean that would be bad.” I asked why, and he told me, “Because you don’t speak our language. I don’t want to leave you out.”

It hit me, we, the Church; speak a different language and the result is that we leave others out! And I’m not just talking about the words we use, but they way we don’t explain things, the way we assume people know things in the Bible, the way we expect them to fall in line when they come into the church building

I even think about how God models relevance to us. God looked at us and realized we had strayed, but what did He do? He came down here Himself to be relevant to us. I think about the Bible – God spoke to us using human language – we know that the Bible talks about some kind of spiritual angelic language that we could never speak or know, but God chose to speak to us in human language. Not to mention the work He is allowing and protecting with Bible translation to all languages in the world! I even think about the story where God spoke to the Israelites and they trembled, and were scared to death! So God said, “Alright, I’ll just speak through Moses from now on.” Because God wants to be relevant to us!

Shouldn’t we follow Jesus? Jesus was relevant, how can we be? Until next time my faithful readers.

1 comment:

dps said...

If Sean has not told you the story of our trip to Lincoln, Illinois with Legesse - then by all means bring it up at some point in time.

Sean is one of the best friends I have ever had and I know he and Margo will be a huge blessing to the ministry and lives of CCC, as they have been to me.