May 2, 2013

Read All About It – part 1

The vision of Hope MK is to see young Christians leading the way in serving the people of our city and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Between us, we have many years of youth work experience (more than we’d care to admit) & have seen brilliant young people commit their lives to Him, and go out and serve Him with all they’ve got, by loving & blessing others and by speaking about the hope that they’ve found through Jesus.

But sadly, and more commonly, what we see is young people get really fired up at a Summer Camp, Festival or youth weekend, commit to follow Jesus and then return home only to fall back into their old life, their usual routine; even though their faith remains, their enthusiasm to follow Jesus’ call to ‘go & make disciples’ has somehow disappeared or at best, taken a back seat.

But in our churches too, even though we firmly believe in the gift of salvation which Jesus makes possible, the love of God the Father, and the power of the Holy Spirit, there’s an increasing reluctance to speak about it.

In Romans 10 Paul makes it clear that salvation is for everyone, and that the message of salvation is close at hand (‘it’s in your heart and on your lips’). But he reminds the early Christians that for people to respond they must believe, and to believe they need to hear the good news, and to hear the good news someone needs to share it with them, and to share the good news someone needs to be sent to tell it. In many of our churches and youth groups, we seem to shy away from sending people out to tell the good news.

In ‘Read All About It – pt III‘ Emeli Sande echoes Paul’s challenge:

You’ve got the words to change a nation, but you’re biting your tongue
You’ve spent a life time stuck in silence, afraid you’ll say something wrong
If no one ever hears it how we gonna learn your song?

There can be no doubt that the message of hope in Jesus has the power to changes lives. It is powerful enough to change families, neighbourhoods, villages and towns. The story of the early Church is on of transformation: personal, local & regional. We still carry that same message which contains the same power – but we’re called to do more than carry it: we’re commanded to give it away. But so often we (young & old) keep it to ourselves; biting our tongues even when opportunities are presented, afraid we’ll say something wrong, ashamed of what we believe, or worried what others might think of us.

Something about ‘Read All About It‘ struck a chord. On first hearing there was something about it that spoke to the heart, and then stayed there. It has resurfaced at a number of key points during the development of Hope MK. We believe that God uses contemporary cultural references to speak to & challenge Christians. Sande’s song is not a call to evangelism, but with lines like these, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was:

You’ve got a heart as loud as lions, so why let your voice be tamed?
We’re a little different, there’s no need to be ashamed
You’ve got the light to fight the shadows, so stop hiding it away

[to be continued…]

Words to Change a Nation

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