Jesus fixes the clock on the Titanic
...offered by Dn. fdj, a sinner at 7:50 AM [+]
Last weekend, I watched the film version of Godspell. It was a curious experience because I can recall my parents (who were not terribly religious) owning the soundtrack on LP and so many of the songs were distantly familiar to me. In essence we are given an musical tour of many of Jesus' teachings and parables and I found it rather enjoyable...toe tapping away and singing the next day: "Preeeeeeeeeepare ye the way, of the Lord."
But the message of Jesus could not be entirely delivered to the hippies. And the failure of the attempt to make Jesus relevant to the needs of the hippies of the time was clearly seen by the fact that some of the most critical aspects of Jesus' life was missing in the play/film. So what are we to make of a Jesus who teaches love, peace, and joy...and then is killed. (end of story)Was Jesus really no more than an ancient Ghandi? So why bother trying to make Jesus (the self-proclaimed "Son of God") relevant, when in order to do so we must strip Him of His pronoun capitalization?
It's nothing new...we all try to conform Jesus to our own image. I do it, you do it, the "emerging church" does it, the radical left does it, the conservative right does it, we all do it. But one thing I truly cherish about Orthodoxy is that the Church really insists - on a very practical level (hello Lent!) that we, rather than God, need to become relevant. No one - whether it be pharisee or prostitutes ever came to Jesus and left unsurprised in some way or another. Oh we love to note Jesus slamming the officials and the leaders...I mean how cool is that...but Jesus wasn't anti-establishment, He was anti-sin wherever He saw it: "Go and sin no more."
And Jesus' compassion was expressed to all, but especially so to those who took those words to heart. Ahhh...Lent. Are we taking those words to heart...or conveniently forgetting those last words given to the woman caught in adultry?
Making Jesus relevant is dangerous business...like firing up an extra boiler despite the ice warnings. What we end up seeing is the "jesus" of Godspell playing shipwright Thomas Andrews, standing on a heavily slanted deck fixing the clock on a ship that has little time remaining before foundering. It speaks volumes to me.
Repent, for Kingdom of God is at hand...indeed. Stop trying to make God relevant, and become relevant.