Monday, May 24, 2010

Picking through the ashes of Pentecost

Ashes to Ashes ended on Friday and everyone's favourite bigoted 1970s/early 80s copper turned out to be something akin to an angel of mercy helping dead officers find the way to heaven (pictured as a pub from which a warm, rich light emanated). If his nemesis, DCI Keats was the devil, trying to take Gene's team on the down elevator to somewhere hot, Hunt appears as a Christ figure, fighting for the souls of those who've fallen in the line of duty.

It was great telly that left you with a warm fuzzy glow. I do seriously doubt that the series creators had this ending in mind when they embarked on the odyssey that began with Life on Mars. Of course it raises loads of theological issues that are too obvious to mention (but I might return to it)!

We had cafe church yesterday evening. It's the first one we've done at church for a long time and it seemed to go well. We're doing another one next week. Maybe it'll catch on. One or two people said how pleased they were to see it's return.

I went to see Shane Claiborne on Friday and he was excellent; an engaging and modest speaker who seems to have put his finger on key elements of the gospel that the church in the West has neglected. In this he is not unique but his voice has an youthful urgency that needs to be heard and acted on.

One of the issues he's highlighted is that our churches have mastered the art of entertaining people but forgotten how to make disciples. And coupled with this, we have broken the link between economics and spirituality.

The early believers, filled with the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, pooled their possessions, used their resources to ensure there were no needy people among them, modelled an alternative way of living in an acquisitive society. As a result of these followers of Jesus taking their master at his word, God poured his power into their lives and amazing things happened.

Have we lost something in our rush to be entertaining, cutting edge, on the technological front line? I think we might have done. But what are prepared to do about it?


Robin said...

"Have we lost something in our rush to be entertaining, cutting edge, on the technological front line?"

We may be aspiring to that and have lost something in our efforts towards it but I think very few churches have come any where close to achieving those things. Many churches seem to have tried and ended up with an uncomfortable mediocrity because we just can't compete with national television companies, international music artists, etc, whom for many people will embody those terms. We need something more 'grass-roots' and one thing we can be is personal.

Jude said...

I had to avoid reading the "Ashes" blog until I had watched the last episodes - which we did last night. Not sure I fully understand it all but was very impressed with the scriptwriters for giving us something meaty. The end of the Sam Tyler series was a real disappointment!
As for the relevance for the Church - nah, I don't think so!