Regular readers know that I believe that we live in a challenging
time for the Church of Christ. The end of Christendom has created a new
environment to which the Church must adapt. In their book “The Faith of Leap”
Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost describe the change from Christendom to post-Christendom
as a shift in society : from the centre to the margins, from majority to
minority, from settlers to sojourners, from privilege to plurality, from
control of society to a witness to society, and from an institution to a
movement. These are uncertain times and we cannot know with certainty what
today, let alone the future holds. The task of being a faithful follower of
Jesus is a daunting one in these days of extreme transition. These are
Last week I wrote about my limited experience of shooting
rapids. I learned that there are forces beyond my control and that I must
follow my Saviour and guide. I must study him carefully and imitate Him closely. I
can never be certain about the outcome.
There is a story, probably apocryphal, of a student writing
a doctoral thesis in philosophy. The paper contained just four words, “This is
a risk.” The story goes that this student was awarded the doctorate for this ‘paper’.
While we might question this student’s academic skills we are left in no doubt
about the truth of these four words nor the courage it would take to submit
such a thesis.
CS Lewis wrote of Aslan, his type of Christ, “Aslan is no
tame lion!” Jesus is an untamed wild Messiah. Who calls us to follow in His
path. This is a risk! As a kid I read Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour. I loved the
heroes who had great adventures. These stories thrilled my young heart. Now I
realise that I have an opportunity to be a part of an adventure which can
thrill my middle aged heart (if I live to be 115).
I am comforted by the thought that God is not surprised by
these times. In fact I believe that we were born for just these times. God has
placed us here in these uncharted waters and has entrusted His Bride, the
Church, to our care. That He trusts me is terribly humbling and drives me to a
total reliance on Him. He will pilot His Church through these times. The
question remains “Are we up for the adventure of our lifetimes?”