Relationship

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AP has been hoping and praying for the successful launch of this site for months now, and I’m thrilled to take part. I’ve just finished reading the final instructional email from “The Proprietor,” and aside from a nonsensical and inaccurate comment about besting me in ping-pong, it was a thorough directory and inspiring call to prosaic arms. This quote is pulled directly from his email…

“I don’t buy into that “transforming culture by being relevant” talk. As far as I know, Christ never called us to be relevant to our culture. We’re supposed to be relevant to our neighbors. How many Christian artists have been swept up in the notion that they’re to play by the world’s rules by trying to be cool enough to make Jesus seem cool enough to a culture that values coolness above all? The media is a flawed means of communicating the gospel.”

I love that, precisely because of how easy it is to lose perspective with all the technological wizardry we have at our fingertips these days. We are the Church, and we are committed to communicating the Gospel, but we forget that the Gospel is most effectively communicated through relationship. After all, that is how Jesus does it!

Relationship is how we find life and worth and peace and love and power in Christ. And relationship is how we communicate Christ to others. I don’t care if you’ve got on parachute pants or $80 sandals, there is nothing more relevant than a cold cup of water to a thirsty man.

Funny, it suddenly seems ironic to use the internet–the world’s most powerful isolator–to wax eloquently about relationship, but I guess that’s the point. There is a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time for handwritten notes and a time for email, a time for hymnals and a time for Powerpoint, and though all may be appropriate sometimes, none are appropriate all of the time. Only Jesus – and relationship with him – is eternally satisfying, and the closest thing we have to Jesus on earth is one another.


3 Comments

  1. Jonathan Rogers

    Randall–
    I hope we’ll get a chance to talk more about your observation that there’s something ironic about using the internet to wax eloquent about relationship. I’ve been doing some thinking on the danger of the internet’s frictionless-ness (cf the frictionless-ness of hell in THE GREAT DIVORCE, where there’s nothing to keep a person from simply thinking himself a new house when he gets tired of his neighbors). But I think I’ll save those thoughts for their own posting rather than burying them here in a comment.

    On the subject of the Gospel and relationship, my friend Bill Boyd often talks about the fact that one of the most important ways the kingdom of God spreads is when we introduce people to one another. He preached a remarkable sermon on Romans 16, a passage I have never paid one lick of attention to: Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers who risked their own necks. Greet Andronicus and Junia, who were in Christ before me. Greet Apelles, approved of Christ. Greet the beloved Persis…

    What Paul does in this passage isn’t very different from what AP did in yesterday’s email: Meet Randall, whom I can beat in ping-pong. Meet Jason, who busted through a shower wall. Meet Matt, who might be a crazy person. I suppose Paul’s remarks were a little more edifying than AP’s. Nevertheless, here is one important way the kingdom expands.

    I like book reviews as much as the next guy. But what really gets me fired up about the Rabbit Room is the prospect of seeing the kingdom advance through relationships that will grow here.

  2. Matt Conner

    @mattconner

    beautiful randall… you’ve inspired my first post (since I was searching for the subject) 🙂 Miss talkin to you by the way, but this is such a back-handed way to let you know that.

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