RELEVANT (rel’uh-vant) Bearing upon or connected with the matter in hand; to the purpose; pertinent…
What is really relevant to me and the matter at hand? I’ve watched more TV lately than I care to admit and I’ve discovered that much of what I see doesn’t pass the relevance test. I don’t take “the purple pill.” I’m not in the market for a new car—I’d buy a good used one anyway. Don’t need a new mattress, and don’t care how the rich and famous have fun. I’m non-partisan. Neither major party reflects my point of view. Republicans eat at the trough of the free market, believing that kindness and generosity are bred into the corporate soul. Democrats worship at the altar of civil government, thinking that public service and pure motives are corollaries. Then, there are special interest parties who see the world through green glasses or through the lens of theocracy.
Nope. I’m opting out. Non-partisan.
I want to be a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth. I don’t want to have Jesus as a mistress—to tryst with him at church, but go home to what I’m married to. I don’t want the new millennium Christ that is a mere shadow of who Jesus is as the son of God; I want the first century Jesus who is the cornerstone of real faith but only the inspiration for pretenders to it. Here is the challenge: discover what is relevant to those of us who are mere sojourners in time. Jesus sketched the challenge in the terms of being “in the world” while not being “of the world.”
Who am I? Better put, where am I? I am between two worlds: in one, but not of it; bound for another, but for the time being, bound TO the one I’m in. If that is true, if I and other Christ followers are “between two worlds,” then the question of relevance is vital. What really matters? Where do we fit in this world—or do we fit at all?
I’ve been reading a book called The Reformers and Their Stepchildren. I highlighted this paragraph:
It is implied in the New Testament vision that Christianity is not a culture-creating thing but rather a culture-influencing one. Wherever the Gospel is preached human society becomes composite; hence, since the culture is the name given to the total spiritual heritage of an entire people, there can never be such a thing as a Christian culture; there can only be cultures in which the influence of Christianity is more or less apparent.
The challenge is to pick through the purple pills and new cars; the fast food and loose facts, and lay hold of the things that are important to an eternal God and valuable to an eternal people. I’m not here to throw stones, build walls, or tear down the establishment. I’m here to live like a sojourner and love like a follower of Jesus.