Saturday, 1 January 2011

Religion and Relevance

Religion and relevance. Two words that don't seem to go together. Can you be religious and relevant? And if your religion isn't relevant, what's it worth?

What we have let people believe is that Jesus and his followers have no relation to the matters at hand; that Christianity has nothing to do with the human, the everyday. How is it that we have allowed such a contradiction to gain ground?

The great Bible translator, William Tyndale, was jailed for translating the Bible into everyday English, but he just kept at it anyway, hoping there would one day be a Bible accessible to the English ploughboy. And there is, thousands of times over. But who today sees the Bible as something really to be read - by ploughboys or anyone else?

Make no mistake - we are the ones who have failed. We have shut ourselves away. We have withdrawn and turned our backs on a world for whom Christ died. We have become irrelevant.

This world deserves to see lives full of the mercy and the truth of Jesus Christ - relevant. Rubbing elbows with those he loves - sinners of every class, and not just the down-and-outs. What's that, you say? They don't want to rub elbows with us? Don't we have anything they want?

We are so in need of another Tyndale to translate our message of freedom and peace into the language of the today's ploughboy.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.
(Isaiah 61:1)

The One we profess to follow spent a lot of time praying and a little time preaching, but he didn't just talk. He touched lepers. He paid taxes. He went to a wedding, and provided wine. He spent an afternoon, tired and thristy, chatting with a Samarian woman by a well. He went to dinner parties, at least once with a notorious traitor and a cheat. (Remember Zaccheus?) He had a job - in construction. He played with kids. He didn't just ring the bell of the Synagogue and sigh that no one was interested - he went out and related to people, where they were. His religion was relevant. Is yours?


janelle said...

know who came to mind when i read this? grampie. he knew this Jesus.

jennypo said...

He had what makes life beautiful and worthwhile at its worst, and not even dementia could take it away from him. What else is worth having?