In many ways the dismantling and deconstruction of everything we are familiar with has defined our lives and ministries. It’s not that we have set out to dismantle anything, but things have been falling apart and coming back together again all around us for the past couple of decades. We are living on the edge of something new. The old is dying the new is taking shape. The wine has ruptured the skins and things have gotten a little messy.
We need a new wineskin. We need a wineskin that is flexible and elastic. We need a wineskin that won’t force the wine to yield to it shape, but is willing to expand as the wine consumes more and more volume.
This emerging world doesn’t only require a whole new wineskin, but it requires a whole new orientation in order for us effectively navigate. There is no hiding behind a systematic theology or ole time religion in this new world. While the ole world dismantled and deconstructed, this new world is about re-mantling and reconstructing. Its one thing to bring down, its a whole new thing to put back together. Things are falling apart and coming together again. This time it looks a lot different. No longer are we going to be defined by what we are against or what we don’t like. This time we are going to be defined by our salt and light like qualities.
For those of us who live in the God world (as my daughter calls it) it requires a new shaping of our theology. I would like to say that it’s not that our theology was wrong, but incomplete. However, I’m not sure that it wasn’t a little wrong and a lot incomplete when I reflect on it.
Jesus seems to confer with my opinion when he began his ministry with the proclamation, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
One writer suggest that when the dust settles on this cultural shift call post-modernity (there’s a word we don’t use much any more) we will see once again the fields white unto harvest. The dust is settling and there seems to be many new opportunities for gathering a fresh harvest.
Creating a whole new and daring world is the bold adventure that Jesus invites us into to. Donald Miller refers to it as writing a better story.
In order to do so we must return to the gospel. What I call a rediscovery of the simplicity and centrality of Jesus and his ways. Through the lens of Jesus we must discover that the gospel is more robust then we previously imagined, the church is much more redeeming, and our mission is far more sweeping.
Over the next few days I will explore each of these three vantage points for experiencing and living faith in the Jesus way.