When Jesus invited his followers to be “the light of the world,” what do you think went through the minds of the disciples? It only would have been natural for them to think in terms of the resources available in their day – spark, wood, oil, flame, and fire. But how much has changed since the first century? Even more radically, how much has changed in the last 150 years?
If Jesus were to pose the same invitation today, would we think in terms of matches or alternating current? Wood or filament? Oxygen or vacuum? Therein lies the tension.
We—the Church—have the job of being truth in an ever-changing world. Yet the reality is often that the church has over romanticized matches, wood, and oxygen.
The invitation of Jesus is not to remain captive to things that held true in the past, but to transcend, to evolve, to discover new ways of embodying the things that held true in the past. I find it fascinating that when we mapped the human genome, it was called genius. When we explored the mechanics of quantum physics, it was a step forward. When we democratized communication through the Internet, we called it revolutionary. Yet when we dream of a socially networked church, without walls or the one-hour event, it is perceived as the destructive to the Church.
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