I wanted to go to Christianity 21 but decided to spend money to go to the Jurgen Moltmann Theological Conversation instead…and it was an awesome and formative experience for me (and also sent me scurrying off to buy/read some more Moltmann books).
However, the Christianity 21 thing has stuck with me…particularly after reading/watching some of the responses of folk who were able to attend. The thing that profoundly occurs to me in these responses is how much more is said about the space created by the event to “be” …be followers of Jesus…be in community…be who attendees were created to be. I was struck particularly by 3 comments in the video above:
- Nadia Bolz-Weber says, “…and then there are those evangelicals who have discovered the liturgy, which is…adorable”…One, Nadia is hilarious and profound (check out her book). Much of the energy I have felt in the various emergent type meetings I’ve been privileged to attend has centered around such rediscovery of my tradition and the traditions of others who are also attempting to follow God in the way of Jesus.
- “We are more often than not people of doubt, who have beliefs than people of faith, who have moments of doubts.” TOO TRUE!!! I believe our getting this bass ackwards in our church “communities” is probably the biggest barrier to authentic community we face.
- The elderly man toward the end of the video… “This weekend has been something my heart and soul has been waiting for for 38 years…I wanted to go to heaven when I was 75, my password on the computer is heaven75. I lived 4 more years, I now I know why!” Is that not an amazing statement? I’m immediately reminded of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35) who waited with great expectation for “the consolation of Israel”…and upon seeing the infant Jesus proclaimed,
“29“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss[a] your servant in peace.
30For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”
I’m certain this cannot be written off cynically as just another over-hyped event. There is something going on here among us. I for one want to be a part of it. It has nothing to do with being hip and cool. It has everything to do with rediscovering the joy of my salvation.