“So what’s the big idea?” If you asked me that today my answer would be “Fandango!”
In years past we had a special “Christmas Breakfast” where we offered a sumptuous breakfast and offered gifts. One year we gave away 100 electric blankets for those living in under-heated rooms. Another we gave away back packs loaded with all sorts of goodies. After a while we felt that Christmas was being well covered by other ministries so we began to pray about a way we could incarnate the Good News in another season.
In prayer we realised that many Christian programs scale back in the summer, as volunteers go on holidays. We thought about “Christmas in July” with the idea of transferring our old model to July. I thought about my friends who live in rooms, some windowless, and most unventilated. The idea of giving away fans seemed like a natural. It wasn’t long afterward that we jettisoned the idea of “Christmas in July” and settled on what we call a “Fandango”. This will be a party with a fanned theme. We plan to give away electric fans and offer a cool summer meal. I envision hand fans at each setting. On one side will be the words “I AM” (Exodus 3:14) and “Your biggest fan!” and on the other will be “God so loved (insert your name) that He gave his one and only son that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life” (John 3:16)
There are many details to work out like what the menu will be and how the catering will be done but we believe that we have heard from God and so we trust things will come together.
We are looking at Friday July 14th for our Street Hope Fandango. I invite you to pray for us as we move forward. We need to find electric fans at a reasonable price, find a supplier of hand fans, decide on catering and raise money. I am assuming that we can do this at a cost of $50/guest, so if we have 100 friends join our Fandango we will require $5,000 at a minimum. We will be looking for opportunities to share this idea with groups and individuals who may share our vision for a Festive Fandango this summer. We believe God is birthing a new thing and it is exciting!
I had an interesting conversation with someone who was quite critical of some preaching he had recently heard. He made sure I knew that he was a Bible Literalist. It seemed like he was throwing down a gauntlet and daring me to challenge him. I asked him to clarify what he meant by Bible Literalist. He averred that he believed every word of the Bible was: inspired, infallible, and to be understood literally. I said that I had never met a literalist like this before. He was taken aback! I then asked him “Where is the door knob?” He wondered what I meant. I went on to explain that Jesus said He was the door but in all the images I have seen of Jesus I have never seen a door knob. “Well of course He didn’t literally mean he was door!” my friend replied. “So you aren’t a literalist after all.” I said “I’ll have to keep looking!” We went on to agree that certain things were like our computer icons. They are not to be taken literally but when we click into them and unpack the truth they are fuller of meaning than any literalism could be. The trick we agreed is to discern what is icon-like and what is literal. To discern this we need the Holy Spirit, the testimony of those who have gone before and the wisdom of current thinkers, preachers and writers. A “Bible Literalist” if one existed would have no trouble grappling after truth but their mind would be closed to much potential truth. My friend and I agreed to struggle on. We both take scripture very seriously, after all.