Hugs not Mugs
Sometimes I think the church, in our struggle to "stay relevant," tosses too many people out the back door of the bus (and we all know just how "up to date" our church busses are), yet we keep on traveling down the highway in our relevant death trap as if nothing is wrong and no one is missed). There's nothing faulty...in fact, there's everything honorable, with keeping up...even staying ahead of the times in order to have the opportunity to affect the next generation with the Gospel, but when the cost of being current includes throwing away everything and everyone that has helped to form who we are, well...it's just a type of currency we shouldn't be using. It's a currency that might buy us fame with our peers. It might buy us numbers in the seats. It might even get us published in a trendy magazine or two and buy us a certain sense of personal satisfaction, but in the end we will have purchased a fleeting thing. In the scheme of things...a very temporary victory. To make it biblical... a flower that springs up today and withers away tomorrow.
Somehow, we've got to do better than simply "honoring" the past (we've all seen it done so many times. Some past leader is invited up to the stage, given a mug and everyone claps...never mind how bruised he/she is from being thrown out the back of the bus to begin with). Truth be told, it's really just lip service. It's really more about us, the one's doing the honoring, than it is about the one being honored. We do it because it gives us the opportunity to put a check in the important box "PAST HONORED," and we move on.
I don't have all the answers and remedies here, it's just a subject that's been on my mind. Somehow we've got to get better at embracing our past and the people who helped form who we currently are with a deeper authenticity, while at the same time moving ahead on purpose. Philosophical... yes ... but we all know... a hug can often be less than sincere.
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