The Relevancy Factor
The Relevancy Factor
I’d love to change the world but I don’t know what to do...so I’ll leave it up to you…
Sung by Ten Years After - 1971
Years ago while working a regular assignment, my “day-off” was always Sunday. The actual time it started varied depending on what train I was on and how fast we made it home. Often it was sunrise on Sun-day morning that started my day off. To keep me awake and pass the time as I drove home, I used to listen to a special Sunday program on the radio entitled “Acoustical Sunrise.” As its name suggests, it was the acoustical version of many popular songs without all the enhancements of modern studio recorded songs. I liked the format, as it was as if the listener was hearing it directly from the writer’s own song book. Music, like writing, is often a mirror into the soul of a person, movement or generation. I recall hearing a haunting song about the disillusionment that was facing the 1960’s generation. As the new decade began, gone was the optimism of creating a better world, as all avenues had proven to be dead ends with the same problems remaining, reoccurring and mutating. In his song, the writer essentially had given up, telling his listeners that he could not overcome the endless list of society’s problems; he had no solutions, so he was passing the responsibility on to us, the listener. As I recently heard that song on a classic radio station, I was struck by how similar the concerns and social problems mentioned in the song are today’s concerns. Perhaps that is why that song has been recorded again, by a new artist in recent years, despite lyrics that in today’s world would be considered “non PC” by some and offensive by others.
Hearing a segment on talk radio in which the host attempted to “prove” that the gospel was “relevant” in today’s world gave me a moment of pause. The person was not so much as questioning the gospel per say; yet in his approach he was attempting to have the church affirm society’s attitudes, instead of offering the Word as a clear, distinguishing alternative to the solutions the secular world is offering to these same problems. For the Word establishes meaning and stability in a very disordered and uncertain world. What are the problems? One look at the headlines answers that question.
Why is there so much discontent and disillusionment in the world? In the present generation’s yearn-ing for change, will they too experience the same disillusionment? Somehow I think they will. Why? Per-haps their idealism is grounded in the wrong solutions and the wrong outlook. With the current confusions in the world, I wondered why I seldom hear people turning to the God of the Bible for answers about the meaning of life and our part in making a better world. When was the last time you asked yourself: “what does the scriptures say about this issue?” There is a host of scriptural applications we can use to address eve-ry life question. Perhaps Jesus’ promise, as he ascended to heaven, “I am with you forever” is the most ap-plicable.
To offer hope, meaning and purpose, we need to be people of the Word, ready to share the Word. We have good news to share with a world hungry for hope. Prepare yourself so we can journey together to share the Word with the world. In the upcoming months, all of us will be asked by God to “step it up” in our faith and our Christian witness. Are you ready? As I close, consider how we would answer that songwriter:
I’d love to change the world and I know just what to do; leave it up to Jesus Christ!
Yours in Christ,