This is part two in a brief series on communication as part of the very quality of God and His Kingdom. It is also a clarion call to that Kingdom to become excellent at this vital issue, the very thing we were made for. You can find part one in the series here.
Communication as being part of the very nature of God is not confined to exegesis of John 1. In Genesis 3:9 after Adam sins God asks him, “Where are you?” This is amazingly profound. God obviously knew the physical location of Adam. There was no question He couldn’t answer. The real question should actually be seen as ‘why are you suddenly distant?’ or ‘Where has our intimacy gone?’ Before this moment there were no walls. Man was naked and unashamed, hiding nothing. This side of eternity, God would never again walk with man directly, unobstructed. There was now separation. The rest of human history is the story of God closing the gap.
Later, God reached out to Abram. He sent prophets to give His words to people. He confined Himself to using human language, human idioms, and human culture. He spoke to rebels who were working directly against Him. He confined Himself to locations where mankind could experience Him in locality. Even our loving statement that “God is present,” or “God is here” testifies to God’s self-limiting.
Then, God participated willingly in an astounding humiliation. He entered His creation as His creation. He became human, subject to all the frailties (save sinfulness) inherent in that. As such, he allowed Satan to influence the story. He even permitted the ultimate disgrace. He let His own creation torture and murder Him for crimes He had never committed. Of course, He had the last word, triumphing over death in resurrection. These seem to be great lengths to restore intimacy, community, and communication with what He had made.
The death and resurrection of Jesus changed everything. As Christians we not only know this, but base everything on it. But in some sense we often fail to grasp the depth of that. This event even marked a complete change in God’s public relations policy. The Kingdom of God was now completely non-localized, no longer based on messages handed down from a high priest or occasional prophet. Now all of God’s people would hold the role of priests and prophets. The Kingdom would now be carried forward by the empowered creation itself.
The Word would now be in us. But what does that mean, exactly? It means, among other things that we are to be the mouthpiece and the communication of God to the world. We are to be above anything else, communicators. That is our major. That is our profession. That is our hobby.
Unfortunately, that is not what we often see happening in the Western Church, at least. If you want something communicated to the world in expert fashion, you call in an advertising, or public relations agency. These are people who have spent 4-6 years in college to learn about the best ways to communicate things, because it makes them money. We believe that the ultimate eternal outcome of humanity rests on the transmission of the gospel message, and we occasionally employ ad agencies and public relations firms to do this. Doesn’t this seem incredibly backwards? Shouldn’t ad agencies be calling churches when they get stuck on a project, not the other way around? After all, the advertisers have a lot of money on the line, but the Church has eternity in the balance, a far more serious risk.
If we are honest, many pulpits around our nation are not seen by even regular church attendees as being vital communication channels from God. Many Christians would say that it is important to have, but most could not recall what was talked about by the middle of the next week. Many will even admit that the sermon is usually boring and irrelevant to their lives.
Ministers Sunday task is to communicate the truths of the Bible in ways that impassion His people and emboldens them in their faith. The message in short should be, “God is vital and powerful for your life, and because of that He wants to help you adjust yourself to His plan.” I am not sure on the whole that this message is what we are communicating. –Ryan