Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dec | 01 | A Martian with a Message

Key Word:- OBEY

Title:- A Martian with a Message

Jonah 4:9 
Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!”

British poet, Craig Raine is reputed to be the founder of ‘Martian Poetry.’ That is, poetry that takes the every day common things of life and by seeing them from a different perspective, a different pair of eyes even, is able to magnify their properties purpose and being to such an extent, that the wonder and quality of what they are can be more clearly seen and then in new found freshness, be that much more excitedly appreciated!

It’s not a new technique, indeed, it is an ancient and Biblical form of communication. Painting pictures, vast canvases of communicative convection, which lift us up like soaring eagles, forcing us to fly against the gold basement entrance door to the heavenly city, is not new. No, this is the way God has always communicated to us. Through the visual.

It is true that the Word became flesh and when He clothed Himself with the body prepared for Him, He then focused for thirty years on His job as carpenter and creator of both form and function. Aged thirty however, He took off the workman’s pouch and decked Himself with the robe of the painting prophet and whilst purposely pacing the road to Jerusalem, producing a million pictures to communicate to the listening lost and the watching and weeping masses, He magnificently portrayed the love of the Father through: ‘sheep, shepherds, vines, camels, candles, gates, wolves, needles, hens and chicks, roads and robbers, bread and gates, millipedes and mustard seeds, leaven and lost coins……well, you see what I mean? A picture is worth a thousand words, and Jesus knew it and utilised it.
As students of effective communication, we Christians should be examining the canvas in which we live to see what relevant similes and metaphors exist so that we too can effectively utilize them to communicate Biblical truth to people who are lost and going to hell! Some people have suggested that God is already doing this through non Christian Hollywood directors anyway and we simply need to get with His programme! It’s an interesting thought but again, it’s not a new one. Many years ago, Don Richardson, reputedly one of the most wildly read authors on missions at the end of the twentieth century, produced a book called ‘Eternity in their Hearts,’ proposing the idea that each culture has some God embedded story, ritual, or tradition that can be used to illustrate and apply the Christian gospel message. Hmm. I wonder?

If God is at work in our world today, is it inconceivable that He might be embedding pictures of redemption in the visual and audible canvass of contemporary culture? Is God embossing His redemptive truth upon Hollywood movies? Is God implanting His truth in sitcoms and television programmes? Is God repeatedly reaching out to people in these ways, despite the slowness of His church in taking up the challenge and reaching for the golden thread, running rich and coated red amongst the rolling reels? Is it a concept worthy of consideration? Many Christians certainly think so. After all, just how much does God love the world?

So friend, if these things are indeed so, then the implications on evangelism are far reaching. Dare I suggest, that God has left us many opportunities for communication of the gospel within our own contemporary culture and that if only our skin got a little thicker and our heart a little bigger, we might just be able to change from being viewed as weird and wacky, angry little aliens from another planet, with no relevance to real life at all, to becoming viewed as maybe “Martians with a message worth listening to!” For the sake of the millions without Jesus, it’s surely worth thinking about. Isn’t it? What and how are you watching the images of your contemporary culture? Do you see pictures of redemption to build your conversations on? Are you contemporary? Are you redemptively relevant?

Listen:- But the LORD said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not labored, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left — and much livestock?” Jonah 4:10-11

Pray: - Lord; lover, writer, potter, painter, touch the dead hearts of grey ghosts we live with and cover them with the resplendent and living colours of Your seeking, searching and sacrificial love. Do it through us and O God make us Your brushstrokes please and if we will not willingly be dipped in Your paint, please grab us anyhow and then do it anyway; do it despite us dear Jesus. Make us contemporary, make us Martians. Amen.

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