The Theology of Boredom Pt. 1

Posted: 03/11/2010 in Church
Tags: , , , , ,
A few weekends ago, J-Mo and I went on a weekend trip to Chicago for a youth ministry conference, and we concluded the weekend with a visit to Jesus People USA (JPUSA). For those of you who may not know what or who JPUSA is, it is an intentional Christian community living together in an old hotel and serving those in need around them. We walked in and saw white and black people in friendly conversation, people of every age, and more tattoos and piercings than we could count. It was an interesting place, indeed… unlike any place I had ever been before. It was dirty and messy and oddly welcoming. I must admit I felt rather at home there.
One of the more beautiful aspects of this community was the diversity of people willing to live not simply as neighbors but as family. Rob, an ex-Californian skater, welcomed us and fielded any questions we had. He informed us that there were all varieties of viewpoints housed in this one community. There were extreme liberals and hyper-conservatives, Calvinists and Armenians, Pentecostals, Eastern Orthodox, Baptist… you name it! Upon learning this, I asked, “How is it even possible? Can’t you notice the differences? Wouldn’t fights or arguments break out all the time?”
I’ll never forget Rob’s answer.
“What we do here is engage in practical theology. We are actively helping the poor, the elderly, and the oppressed. When you’re busy seeing the Kingdom of God lived out by joining together for Christ’s cause, you find it rather silly to dispute over those minor issues. We can’t argue when our neighbors are starving.”
Rob’s words were prophecy to the modern American church. We live in a society where the Church has lost a vision for practical theology, and as a result we have become bored. It is in our boredom that we bicker and divide. There are over 400 churches in Ft. Wayne, and most of us would hardly care to get to know each other, let alone work together.
When we proclaim a gospel that is in direct contrast with the empire and yet we find ourselves inextricably linked to it, we miss the true Kingdom.
When we lose the vision Christ has given us, we get bored.
In our boredom, we suffer to materialism and idolatry, we consider thoughts more valuable than actions, and we fall to division.
Lord, come rescue your bride from her boredom. Show her a life that cares for the least of these all around her. May she continue your vision to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recover of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:18-19).
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