Sunday, September 16, 2007

Jesus Surf Classic

Luke 15.1-10
It's easy to lose track of what this parable is really all about, and get bogged down in descriptions of shepherds and how they herd their flocks in Palestine by leading the way for them across the wilderness. But it's really not about sheep and shepherding. That's just an illustration of the underlying point which Jesus wants to make. He is aware of all of the people, then and now, who are disconnected from God. We can forget about them, and decide that they're simply not meant to get it together with God. Alternatively, we can hope that somehow they will find their way to God, stumbling upon the truth either by accident or by divine providence. Or we can actively go in search of them, which is what mission is all about.

Jesus is an activist. he would surely approve of this week's "Jesus Surf Classic" events in Devon and Cornwall, where some of the world's best Christian surfers are gathering to compete. Pippa Renyard, a member of one of the five Cornish branches of Christian Surfers UK, is reported in The Guardian as saying: "Surfers tend to be a group who don't necessarily connect with a dusty old building like a church. But God is not about a building. He is about a community. We don't try to ram it down people's throats but if they are interested they can talk about God with us and hopefully join the group."

Apparently, some traditional churches remain uninterested or suspicious, though not the Methodist Church in Polzeath, which has turned itself into a centre for Christian surfers and replaced some of the pews with a skateboarding ramp. What are we being called to do to rescue people disconnected from God in our community?

No comments: