Meditations (Web)Church

A year (and a bit) in the life of NewSpring's first Web pastor

Show and tell

with one comment

You’ve got to love America’s license plates. They’re like windows to this nation’s soul. They pitch. They proclaim. They make you pause.

We all have our favorites. New Hampshire’s punk “Live Free or Die” gets the most attention. But it’s too absurdly passionate to be believable or meaningful, at least in this day and age, when sacrifice seems quaint and freedom seems free.

The most interesting for my money is Missouri’s slogan, the “Show Me State.” It first got my attention when I was at the University of Kansas journalism school. “Show, Don’t Tell” is the reporter’s greatest commandment after all. But Missouri’s slogan holds a gritty, realistic truth that speaks more profoundly to me every year.

It stands up straight, looks you in the eye and makes a demand:

Show me.

Prove it.

In this overexposed, “lifestreaming” world, we’re all citizens of a “Show Me” state. Show me how smart. Show me how cool. Show me how creative. Show why I should care about you. Show me how to be like you.

In a fallen world, the demand to live life always on display can be a slavery, trying to stay one step ahead before we’re found out for the sinful, imperfect frauds that we are.

But to the Church, “show me” must be our joy and our treasure. If we are saints, purified and dedicated by the righteousness of a perfect and holy God, we know that Jesus will be displayed in our lives. It is a promise. It is a proof. We shouldn’t have to work at it. We dare not.

Many may worry about the ill-effects of our networked and hyper-mediated culture on the Church. Not me. If our churches are making disciples of Jesus in this day and age, people will see Him. They will come to Him. They will know Him.

There’s a word in English for this revealing of a special truth: Epiphany.

Like so many great words that have been hollowed out by time and circumstance, its origin is Christian – literally the showing of the Christ.

When Christians were in full scale retreat from the world, while they lived in self-imposed cultural, social and intellectual exile, Christian weren’t showing. They were just telling. They were the ones standing next to the homeless with sandwich boards proclaiming the love of God when they should have been serving sandwiches to the homeless and being the love of God.

As NewSpring’s Internet campus pastor, I’m sure there will be many technological temptations and distractions. That’s when I’ll remember the words “Show Me.”  We will have honored God if what we do produces epiphanies — millions of them. Everyday epiphanies. Life-changing epiphanies. Showing AND telling.

I guess that makes my job description “Internet Epiphanist” — ipiphanist, between friends.


Written by NickCharalambous

November 9, 2008 at 12:31 am

Posted in ruminations

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. Heller! I approve this message

    Ria Hydrick

    November 13, 2008 at 9:33 pm

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