This is just a quick note for today. I met with a friend this morning to talk through some of what life has thrown each of our way. In doing so, he brought up a recent conversation he had with his men’s group. Following is a mixture of my words with his.
Yesterday they were working through the first half of 2 Thessalonians. Long story short, they were thinking about how to grasp the relevance of Paul’s message of hope and end time revelations to this young, struggling, persecuted church. They were trying to grasp it within our experience with “church” in a society/culture that could arguably be categorized as “Christian” or “Post-Christian.” When they broached the idea that our brothers in Africa and the east were experiencing a concept of “church” that was much more similar to the Thessalonian church, a friend leaned in and offered something rather profound.
“The difference is that these churches are in a very real fight in faith, while we are fighting boredom in our faith.”
Wow… I have read about this idea off and on for a while now – about how the churches that fight for their existence are sometimes viewed as deeper in their faith. They rely on God before man, while locally we have a tendency to rely on man before God. Not everyone mind you, but many.
With this conversation, a lot of questions came to mind –
- Is fresh, new love different than mature love?
- Do we show it differently?
- Do we praise God the same way we did when we first received Christ into our lives?
- Does our culture show love for Christ differently?
- Does culture matter?
- Should culture matter?
- Are some of us bored in our faith, or just appear to be? Or have we settled in like a 50 year old marriage – loving deeply, and are so totally in sync that there is that chance of cruising along with a very good thing?
My friend ended it with the following … Is that it, were we called to hang out and try not to fall asleep (like the parable of the ten virgins in Mt 25) before the bridegroom comes? I think we know the answer. So do we believe that Christ has something special for each of us to walk in faith? Maybe, the better question is whether we’re prepared to truly ask Him to reveal Himself to us.
I love conversations like this. I love to be nudged. I love to refresh my lantern.