Sunday, September 16, 2007

Walking for Jesus (or rather a cause kind of related to Jesus)

Yesterday I gave a brief description of the ‘commitment walk’ that happened today. As it turns out it was a pretty big event, and you can view what was said about it on the news here. I indeed went along, and quite enjoyed it. I got asked to be one of those guys in the hot fluoro vests helping people cross the road, so that’s what I did. As such I wasn’t one of the ‘cookie-hander-outerers’ talking to bemused bystanders, and my observations come from that somewhat removed perspective.

By the way…I called this post what it is because the “Walking for Jesus” doesn’t actually describe what we did. Although it was mostly Christians doing it, it wasn’t explicitly parading for ‘Jesus’ as such. I think the website does the best job of explaining what it was.

The walk today has got me excited about living for, and fighting for noble causes. Let me explain. As we were walking home from playing pool last night I asked my friend what he thought of the walk. He replied, pretty bluntly, that he thought nothing would or could change the drinking culture down here. Similarly, after watching the news clip in a TV lounge with a bunch of others, the guy next to me turned and said “you know you can't change the culture, don’t you?” These sentiments, and others like it, sound exactly like what great men like William Wilberforce and Martin Luther King Jr. must have encountered. And it is this that gets me excited.

I have thought a lot about what problems there are in this age that must be fought against or for. I find the story of William Wilberforce (especially now it’s in movie form) particularly inspiring and challenging. Inspiring because he achieved so much, that has impacted all subsequent history. And challenging because he had to struggle and toil against such opposition, and because he was fighting something accepted as ‘normal’ (much like the drinking culture in Dunedin!). In this ‘bring the love’ campaign, I think I have found a cause worth toiling, straining and suffering for.

This is a long term initiative, and I’m stoked to be here right at the start of it. I often think, when reading war stories or biographies of great men, how noble it is to stand for something worthy. I like how Jonathon Edwards has been described: “he was not only God's kindling for the Great Awakening, but also its most penetrating analyst and critic.” That is what I would love to be for this campaign, one who passionately supports and facilitates God’s work, but also critiques and refines it, according to God’s word. It was the many energising and exciting thoughts along this line that I enjoyed most about today.

Being where I was, I didn’t get to hear many of the resident’s responses to the walk. I can’t say what the impact of the walk was on the community, I just hope there are a few people along Castle and Hyde St going to bed tonight wondering why a bunch of Christians would turn up to give them cookies.

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