I recently watched a documentary about the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine. The boldness and determination of the Ukrainian people fighting for their freedom was shocking. Many lost their lives defying the authorities and going against armed police battalions with sticks and stones. They fought for a political change and a temporal freedom.
My band No Longer Music recently played at a Christian festival. After we had finished our show, we decided to check out the festival headliner. The arena was full when they played and their charismatic singer connected well with the audience.
Ask anyone on the street what their biggest problem with Christians is and many will undoubtedly respond, "They're all hypocrites!" This is not a recent phenomenon, as even Mahatma Gandhi is known to have said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians.” I for one don’t need to be told that I’m a hypocrite; I already know that. And to be fair, this label is not unique to followers of Jesus - it’s a human thing.
Over the years, I’ve adopted various methods for coming into a deeper, more focused connection with God. I once quieted myself on a silent retreat for several days at a Catholic monastery in Bourbon County, Kentucky, where most of the Colombia [Esto Es Reino] script was handwritten. Since my college days twenty years ago, I’ve fasted from food on many (though far from all) Fridays. Back in those university days, a friend of mine and I worked at Pizza Hut on Friday nights. We’d push each other to refrain from eating until after the dinner rush - not out of obligation, but rather from a place of desperation to see God moving in our lives.
Jesus grew up in a storytelling culture. The Greeks told fables, and the Jewish rabbis spoke in “mashal,” a very common oral and literary art form used when teaching the Torah. Storytelling was possibly the most well-known and appreciated art form of that time, and it is still very present in Middle Eastern culture and tradition today.
Many Christians treat Jesus like a subject - something to study and apply to their lives. Often the motivation is that by applying “Jesus principals”, they will have a better life. I had this view growing up. I was always wondering what “Jesus facts” I needed to learn to make my life better and to avoid hell.
In secular culture, open-mindedness and tolerance are two inviolable codes of conduct. These ideas sound noble on the surface, but our world has changed their definitions and weaponized them against Christianity.
If Paul had a band, he would care deeply about his audience. Not in the sense that we often do in the music scene: caring if people like our Facebook page, come to our shows, enjoy our music and buy our merch. Paul would care about the spiritual growth and well-being of his audience. He always cared about how others were doing in their walk with Jesus.
Jesus said in Matthew 9:37 that “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” Looking around it’s obvious that these words are as relevant now as when Jesus first spoke them. As followers of Jesus we are called to make a difference, and yet there have never been enough workers for all the work there is to be done.
Paul was a radical follower of Jesus. After meeting Jesus, he spent his life traveling the world, kind of like going on tour with a band, preaching Jesus and planting churches. He regularly suffered because of this.
Come&Live!’s vision is to create a worldwide mission community that will provoke and inspire Christian artists to use their God-given creativity to revolutionize the world for Jesus. Two ways to join Come&Live!: