I can resist no longer. My intent in posting here is not to pick a fight, or call anyone out. Instead, it is to request we think through our marquee theology. Now it would be good to know, we have a marquee sign. There are days I wished we did not have letters for it. Finding the right thing to put on “the sign” is often taxing.
We have received any number of “cute” suggestions. But, what we are about here is not cute. Often it is messy and complex. I know, I know, the answer is simply Jesus. That may well be, but the questions create the the complexity. So, to put “Turn or Burn” on the sign does not quite get it. Or, “Ch__ch: What’s Missing? ur,” is just way too cheesy and superficial.
The wrestling we have with “what to put on the sign” came back when noticing another sign with the message, “Friends don’t let friends die without Jesus.” I get it. It fits perfectly with the interrogative questions of many a “Gospel” presentation. You know, “If you were to die tonight do you know where you would go?” But, when I read the Scriptures, I cannot get Jesus’ words out of my head, “I came that you might have life and have it to the full.”
We offer a Gospel of death rather than a Good News of life. Jesus died so we might live. “I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ in me.” Jesus and Paul paint Good News of life. We come along and all we can talk about is death.
It fits well in a culture of death. Abortion. Genocide. Infanticide. Boutique babies and population control. But, we are called to subvert death. After all Jesus defeated death. Resurrection means life. Our Good News is Good News of life. Maybe we should re-consider our marquee theology. We have to hit it quick. There is not much space on a sign. How about we change one word, “Friends don’t let friends live without Jesus.”
The reason may lie in the fact that we ourselves have not figured out the way of Jesus to live. We have settled for talking about a home in a place called heaven but not offered much about how to live in the present place called earth. When we do see the way of Jesus meet living on earth, we get flustered. We still want to live with the same goals, dreams and objectives for our lives as before. That is what must die. To talk about these things is dangerous.
Some will leave because they may have to re-think what they buy, where they buy it, what they drive and more. We have promised life as usual and a death that changes our address. Jesus promised life that changes the world and a death that sees that work completed in the fulfilled Kingdom of God.
There is little wonder some opt for post-Christian, or no Christian. All the talk of death is depressing. Jesus talks about life. Now that is Good News.
Now, what to put on the sign? Maybe, “Lord, would you rend the heavens and come down that we may be saved!” Now that is a solid Advent affirmation.