Saturday, June 16, 2012

On fame and following..

As I tap away (avoiding writing wedding sermons), #followjesus is trending on twitter. I won't bore you with the details, save to say that the whole pantheon of Christian spirituality is there for all to see.

Underpinning all of it is a sort of sense that trending worldwide is a good thing. And maybe it is. None of us can knock that very special sense of something that was going on as the world said #prayformuamba. More locally the support of #teamjoel and other things have been profoundly moving.

However I am struck this morning about how much our excitement about such things is a sign that we actually all want our little bit of fame, we want to feel that we are validated. (Validation is worth another post of its own). If its trending its OK?

If I'm blunt about it, we want fame and mainstream acceptance and respect.

For the social media fans its about twitter feeds, for the institutions of church its about about being heard in Parliament, being allowed to marry people (see last post). n It was actually a comment on my last post that has promoted my thinking on this.

In a society with no centre (there is not one thing that commands all our attention/ respect etc) the church in all its manifestations faces a challenge about how to respond. We can try to influence government and feel important by our legal standing, but that is ultimately like grabbing at clouds. We can try and keep Christian themes trending on twitter, but trends change and we will all get sore thumbs!

Or we can pause, stop even, and remember where this whole Christian thing began. It began as a man with outrageous claims, knelt in a garden as his friends fell asleep and prayed, 'yet not my will but yours'. As he put himself second he righted the whole of human history.. and he did it without being famous. He did it when his twelve followers were leaving. He did it as the political authorities were going to kill him.

Our faith is not really about fame. Its not really about having a cosy relationship with wherever power lies. And that is its enduring strength.


Alana said...

The thin line between 'cultural relevance' and 'fame whoring'....

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