A quick encouragement for on-air folks –
It can be hard to talk about Jesus with people who don’t know him.
You know what’s harder? Talking about Jesus with people who don’t know him, but think they do.
We have a word for those people: They’re called, “Americans.” I’m one of them, happy to be one of them, proud to be one of them (LEE GREENWOOD PLEASE REPORT TO THE STAGE) and loves me some USA.
But it’s a real problem. We can’t learn anything if we think we already know everything.
I’m not just talking about traditionally religious Americans, either. Non-believers think they know exactly what Jesus was really up to: Telling everybody to relax and love everybody; advocating for programs for the poor, and generally agreeing with Mahatma Gandhi on stuff. They know the real Jesus.
Me? I’m churched, so I grew up knowing Jesus was mostly concerned about moral decline and he was super-talented at seeing through everybody so he could separate the bad people from the good people. He’s generally disappointed with people but puts up with us.
I also knew that he was due back any second, and man, was he was going to be ticked.
A guy writing for an tech and culture magazine had an article called something like “Eight Times When Jesus Did Stuff That Wasn’t Jesus-y” and it was (intentionally?) funny, because given his “hippie” perception of Jesus, I think he can find about 163 more un-Jesus-y things that Jesus said and did.
Hmmm. I wonder how many un-Jesus-y things Jesus would have to do before I –you know– update my caricature of Jesus?
Every time we talk on the air, we’re talking to people who think they already have Jesus down cold. That makes our job tricky.
I’m serious. Jesus scandalized people 2,000 years ago, and he’s still doing it, and he’s still doing it with –get this— news that’s GOOD.
Who else offers that? CNN? FOX? MSNBC? Seriously? Like some comedian said, every “Today” or “Good Morning America” show starts every newscast with “Good morning!” …and then proceeds to tell you why it’s not.
But we can say it’s a good morning and mean it.
The world was created, and everything in it, and God said it was good. He loved it so much, I understand, that he gave his one and only son.
Yes, sure, we’ve all failed, but God still wants us. We don’t have to be in shame anymore. Everyone else is anxious, yes, but we don’t have to be, because the Kingdom of God is unshakeable. Everyone else is angry, yes, but we don’t have to be, because Jesus calls us into a lifestyle of radical forgiveness. We’re not disgusted by the world; we’re excited about how God is already redeeming it.
The real Jesus is counter-intuitive and deep and challenging. Oh, we think we know him plenty, but he will continue to surprise us all. Keep learning. Keep marveling. Keep being shocked. And keep talking about what you’re learning about him, as you’re learning it.
Truth is, he’s better than any of us “Christian radio” people even realize. He even wants to be with US.
Brant Hansen hosts a radio show and occasionally writes articles. Kinda like this one, for instance.