An issue that will almost always spark debate in the Christian circles is the issue of relevance. I have been challenged afresh over the last few days on this issue.
I think that very often the extremes prevail. Either we are disengaged with our world, isolated and therefore unable to ave an impact. Jesus hinted at that in the Sermon on the Mount as He he encouraged the disciples who are ‘the light of the world’ not to hide it under a bushel.
On the other hand we become so obsessed with relevance that we almost become worshipping the idol of relevance. We keep reinventing ourselves, adding another fad in the hope that those who are not following Christ might come and enjoy. So we get another smoke machine, brew some lattes and get a DJ to come to our services…. (I’m being a bit naughty). Maybe we even forget what we are about – reminding me of the salt that loses its saltiness, from the Sermon the Mount.
Where do we go to avoid these extremes? How do we strike a balance? What are some of the ‘checks’ we can have in place to evaluate our relevance or irrelevance? Was Jesus ‘relevant’?
Looking at His ministry here is what I see regarding relevance:
- HE CAME through the Incarnation, living, teaching and ‘doing life’ among us
- HE ONLY DID what He saw the Father doing – living a guided, purposeful life
- HE SAID & SHOWED blending word & deed what the Kingdom of God was about
- HE BROKE artificial cultural, ethnic & social bariers
- HE REMAINED DISTINCTIVE often offending rather than blending in
- HE SACRIFICED His life for those He came to rescue
These might be some good guiding principles from the Master’s life? What do you think?