Do we see in Jesus someone who went beyond the confines of the establishment to create a new world order?
Do we see someone who taught from outside the establishment to those outside yet it was the establishment that a) didnt accept or b)not the intended explicit target.
Maybe we do, and that’s why as the church it seems that our communication seems to start from within the establishment, be shrouded by it, and has limited resonance to those outside. Its the wrong way of doing and being communicative in mission.
So, maybe, I have a few issues with the communication techniques of churches, that are in the name of ministry, or communicating a message, but those whom insist on using whatever medium (posters on train stations, church notice boards, or even billboards) to use an image to go with a verse from the biblical text are to be pretty irrelevant. Despite the almost abhorent use of the text, out of context, (both narrative, literary and historical) but also that the poster using the bible text is a known text from within a faith community, being communicated with no reference point or guide to the public, who in theatrical space terms, are outside the fourth wall, outside of the text being familiar, readable or congruent, making the faith community of the text seem clique and aloof. And its not what Jesus did. Theres no improvisation in using a bible verse like this to an unbelieving public, that hasnt engaged with the story of the faith community for many generations. The metaphors of sin, world, flesh, body, dont make sense. let alone descriptions of God.
In Jesus communication to the public he didnt often assume the knowledge of the historical traditional faith, least not to the religious leaders. If he was on the tube hed talk about the journey, maps or groups, in a field talk about the farm.
Recently during detached one of the young people asked about wanting a candle to use so she could pray, like what used to happen, now im not against young people praying, but as I said to her, why did she need a candle? If the candle helped her be reminded about God, what else could there be, that we werent carrying in the detached bag?
What could we or you improvise with in that space, in a park in a housing estate to help young people see an image of God?
When the people asked for a sign, what did Jesus say to them? When they asked to see God what did he say?
What might God be like for young people? Who might he be like?
Maybe we cant be everywhere, but does Jesus need the advertising that requires christians to have to apologise on behalf of the church, church ‘ministries’.
To go beyond the wall in our communication might be to leave behind the literal text, and re-enact a new improvised performance of the story. And like philip be ready to guide (if the text is accessed) or give young people the opportunity to encounter and join in the performance. Is it better to encourage rightful performance, rather than judgement by words? When i was about 10 i borrowed from a friend the publicised scripts of Monty Python, which as they were taken from the Theatrical TV performance, yes were funny- because of the language gags, scripted actions, and atmosphere created by the literal script. But at that time, i could only picture some of the acting, as though the show had been on TV repeated, i could not equate what i was reading to the actual performance, and there wasnt enough context given in the script for me to do so.
I contrast this with the Novels that accompanied the Red Dwarf series. By the time i had read these, i had watched all 6 series of the programme, and though the novels did contain some of the dialogue, word for word, they are set within the context of the novel, whereby each character is described and detailed, where time and space is captured, and thus the humour, and essence of the story is easier to follow.
However, on neither account, would it be possible to take snippets from a Monty Python script, or a Red Dwarf script, put them on a poster, and see how many people take up an annual subscription to the red dwarf fan club. Especially if the line does involve kippers, breakfasts and smeg for brains. It just wont happen. So if it doesnt work for funny shows, or stories, or probably even shakespeare, – why might it work with the Bible?
The word of God was incarnate, he dwelled, pitched his tent and was amongst us, not just the words of God, it was as Vanhoozer would say (2014) Jesus, the whole communicative agency of God indwelt. He was present, like we are to be, not just a word out of context, a phrase on a bumper sticker or fridge magnet. To be present, means that we can improvise the text, not replicate it, we can act for the good in that context, listening to the other in the space, being with and encouraging exploration. God is present in incarnate communication, its where he is alive.
To be wise, acting and communicating appropriately with the matter in hand. (Vanhoozer 2002) Wisdom in using words in the right way at the right time with the right people in the right space.