Lost Sayings of the Jedi Christian 3

Fellowship of the Saints.

The Jedi Christian carries dual citizenship and knows the manners, customs and language of both faith and culture. As one who follows Jesus as differentiated from those who simply imitate culture or the culture created by people of faith, the Jedi Christian often experiences dissonance with both of these cultures. Don’t be surprised or disheartened by this, Jesus experienced the same thing with the religious folks of his day who complained of his association with ¢â‚¬Ëœsinners’ and the ¢â‚¬Ëœsinners’ of his day discomforted by his association with God.

When you think of culture and the culture of faith it is easy to visualize them as two distinct landmasses separated by a vast expanse and connected by a bridge. It is easy to visualize yourself as the bridge spanning the two landmasses, connected to both yet belonging to neither. In terms of your calling and mission as a Jedi Christian the bridge analogy works nicely, but it is a mistake to think you ¢â‚¬Ëœbelong’ to neither of these two cultures for you are a Christian and as such you are member of the body of Christ. You hold dual citizenship, and bridge the two cultures, but the ¢â‚¬Ëœsorry lot’ who call themselves Christians are your eternal family and eternity starts now.

Beauty

There was a Jedi Christian Master named Russell Marshall who dedicated his life to making beautiful music as the conductor of choirs composed of young Jedi Christian aspirants who had been introduced to Sacred Choral Music through a required course in their Jedi Christian training. To say most of these students were not musicians would be like saying a cow is not a fish, it is so obvious and painfully true it would be impossible to overstate.

Yet each year, by semester’s end, this motley gathering would be delivering heartfelt and nuanced presentations of music they now embraced as a source of joy, satisfaction and a lifelong lifeline to their spirit. How he did this is a matter for discussion at another time, but I would like to comment on the beauty embraced by these young aspiring Jedi Christians

Today our art and music increasingly reflect our fallen-ness, and sometimes it seems the enemy’s eradication of beauty is nearly complete, not only in the culture but also in the church. But when you hear a superb performance of Mendelssohn’s “Elijah,” with “He Watching over Israel” you are reminded the beauty is still here, we have simply passed it by for the readily available drivel that occupies center stage today.

Russell Marshall showed aspiring Jedi Christians that beauty exists, it is important and you can feed on it every day of your life. Worship without beauty is impossible and today the loss of beauty is rampant, unchecked and even encouraged. Remember, your soul craves purity with an insatiable appetite. In your travels in the church and in the world, seek beauty, find it, nurture it and never let it go.

Words Matter

Every evening after dinner, a young boy named Thomas would gather with the rest of his family and any other stragglers who had shared the meal at a table set by his mother and presided over by his father, a masterful storyteller, who also happened to be an American literary icon, a man named John Steinbeck. In his collection of short stories drawn from the memories of those evenings, “Down to a Soundless Sea,” Thomas observes wistfully, how in the communal glow, tales would be spun, skillfully, cleverly and deftly.

Today we say story is key, yet we choose as our story-telling medium film, which leaves little to the imagination and emphasizes visuals over words, and we have almost completely abandoned the simple practice of stories told over meals among friends. We live among post-moderns, who say the interpretation of the story depends on the hearer though it is the writer’s words and his or her personal meaning that occupy the page.

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God, and the word became flesh and dwelt among us. In the story that matters most for the human race, words matter and understanding the story requires hearing the message conveyed by the storyteller. What did the storyteller intend? The answer is in the words of the story not in the hearer.

Posted in Staublog, Thoughts in October 21, 2002 by | No Comments »

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