OK so I’ve been pondering on a theme for Youth Sunday, even though we did say we’re not going to get hung up on a theme since we know the general direction! But people seem to need a springboard off which to jump…Well, we know God has spoken to us about:
- Relying on God
- Radical Christianity
- Death of self
- Life through the Spirit of God
2 Corinthians 3 is the chapter my mind keeps going to today (espcially the last few verses), and just now as I sat here typing, for the first time – the phrase ‘Radical Christianity’ popped out of the list above.
So what is Radical Christianity? It’s one of those phrases I hear and almost expect to hear a huge drum roll, horns blasting, loud clashing cymbals, some fireworks, a blazing torch (the Olympic one will fit in nicely!), some streamers and balloons maybe, and maybe a huge banner announcing – RADICAL CHRISTIANITY!
We too often associate the word ‘radical’ with mad people; fundamentalists, extremists, etc. But I really am of the opinion that radical Christianity is the Christianity of a changed life…it’s in the quietness of our confidence in God, and in the transparency of a life being transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Simples! Or not?
It’s every little decision being infused with Life, every word and act bringing life to the people we come into contact with – to encourage, to restore, to build, to correct, to cheer up, to help reach their potential, to heal, to resurrect/raise up, to disciple. These words seem to carry a fragrance, and as I follow the scent on the ground, I see two feet…I look up, and guess who? It’s Jesus.
Jesus, the most radical of all radicals.
So He was born into a normal Jewish home, was brought up by people He created (John 1:1-3, 10-11, 14 !!!). Was trained in the humble trade of carpentry – he learned design, dimensioning, joinery, etc!
He had siblings, and he didn’t seem to onlookers as being anything out of the ordinary in His growing up years (Matthew 13:55-56).
He had a bunch of imperfect but passionate followers, he ate and lived with them for a couple of years (about 3 years in total, pretty much like having house mates throughout Uni!).
He had a purpose that He knew and pursued for 33.5 years on earth (30 years in private, 3.5 in public). He had passion, and it drove Him every day, till His last day on earth.
He was quiet when He could have spoken (Matthew 27:12-14) , He spoke when He could have been quiet (Matt 23).
He was the fullness of His Father in human form, the express image of God. The one who came to show us the heart behind the laws of Exodus and Leviticus. He was totally reliant on and gave all the glory to the One He dared to call Father (God).
Seriously summarised I know, but does that look like your picture of a radical, an extremist? Or would it have been easier to have a dude without shoes, or a weirdo with long hair and twisted beard, or a new-age free spirit not willing to be bound by rules, or a man unaffected by the society he’s in…too heavenly to be of earthly good?
What’s the picture in your head really? Could a false picture be the stumbling block in our way when it comes to living this kind of life?
Just typing this, I’m beginning to wonder if ‘Radical Christianity’ is cliché, another phrase that sounds good. I mean, was Christ anything less than radical? Can Christianity be un-radical? A life transformed by the Spirit will always be RADICAL. So if I’m not radical, should my next question be am I a Christian???
P.S. Check out the definition of ‘Radical’ at dictionary.reference.com
I copied this from the bottom of the page:
1. basic, essential; original, innate, ingrained. 2. complete, unqualified, thorough; drastic, excessive, immoderate, violent. Radical, extreme, fanatical denote that which goes beyond moderation or even to excess in opinion, belief, action, etc. Radical emphasizes the idea of going to the root of a matter, and this often seems immoderate in its thoroughness or completeness…
(Notice that it gets scarier as you go further. Lol!)
Seriously people, Christianity is radical – innate, thorough, complete, no holds barred. That doesn’t mean crazy, it just means Jesus.
P.P.S – By the way, I started by saying I was thinking about themes right? I’m not sure we need one actually…God is saying so much already. What are you hearing? Feel free to splash this page with comments please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!