But it's not just church marquees I'm failing to identify with these days. As we enter another presidential election cycle, as we continue to struggle as a society with terrorism and immigration and health care and human sexuality, the rhetoric is rising to new frightening levels. It's as if Jesus and the church are being hijacked and contorted in ways that render them unrecognizable, at least to me. And it's happening so often now that I'm kind of numb to it - which concerns me.
The obvious counter to all of this must come from the community of faith. More and more I'm beginning to view this as a specific calling for the church in our day and time - not just to do all the things churches are supposed to do, but to also intentionally speak up and out toward a different kind of Christianity than the one so frequently promulgated over the airwaves. Certainly we do this by living out the kinds of things Jesus called us to do - feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give voice to the oppressed and marginalized.
Even so, our words still matter. And while I'm in no way advocating for a church marquee outside our church on busy Providence Road (my Buildings and Grounds folks will be most pleased to hear that), I do wonder: how awesome would it be if the thousands of people who drive by our building on their way to and from work each day might experience a more nuanced, loving and even prophetic kind of Christianity? Makes one wonder.....
(signs above created at this website - give it a visit and have some fun!)