Is Jesus relevant today?

LATELY, I’ve seen a lot of worry across different Christian sectors about a concern for relevancy. Some are worried about people leaving their churches, and that we’ll end up having little to say or to offer the world.

One definition says something is relevant if it is appropriate to the current time, period, or circumstances or of contemporary interest.

The definition explains exactly why relevancy is not the point nor the purpose of our faith.

Relevancy doesn’t pertain to Jesus Christ. It’s not that he is irrelevant, instead, he reaches far beyond the limits of relevancy.

God is timeless. He is eternal, as is his beloved Son.

Should we worry if anybody pays attention to us? That all depends on who’s attention you are trying to get. The media? Twitter? Social circles? Who?

The tired, hungry, persecuted, and poor will always recognize the face of Jesus. They will always take note of his mercy and goodness. If you extend a hand to help them, they will see the risen Lord in you.

And we, in turn, can see the face of Jesus in each and every one of those that suffer and hurt.

There is a great spiritual war taking place now. This cannot be ignored or denied.

One of the most effective weapons of Satan is distraction. If we want to do the right thing, if we want to serve the Kingdom of Heaven, we must ignore the lights and special effects. Ignore the culture wars that exhaust us and expend huge amounts of energy but only help a precious few.

And yes, the Christian faith IS at risk of becoming irrelevant. It will wither and die when its faithful stop giving and caring, when its disciples stop proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, when we choose to close our hearts and doors to those in need, and when we stop praying.

But until that happens, the battle rages on.

And there is an army out there doing, giving, and hurting for their neighbor. They don’t worry about being relevant. That is the last thing on their minds. Instead, they are deeply concerned about someone’s well-being, and they hold vigils for the salvation of souls.

By invoking God’s Spirit, they put up their defense against the temptation of resentment as they see the vast destruction that flows from resentful hearts.  Protection against resentment comes from concrete, visible acts of mercy… from the confession of our sins… and most powerfully, from forgiving.

And yes, this combination—giving, repenting, and forgiving—is extremely out of fashion. But it is the path to holiness, the way to God’s glory.

It is the way of Christ.

And don’t worry, people are noticing. But it’s exactly the unnoticed ones that pay close attention to God. That’s where Jesus works. Multitudes are waiting for his outstretched hand to heal and comfort.

So let his hands work through yours.

This is the timeless way of the Lord.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

Psalm 136:1-3

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