Those words could be said in outrage: WHAT’S THE MEANING OF THIS??!! Or they could be spoken in wonderment. It’s a Pentecost question: What does it mean?
If we are very fortunate, our lives have profound meaning. We find deep and gratifying meaning in our relationships, in our work, in the world around us. I believe that one of the reasons that increasing numbers of people stay away from the Church is because it has no meaning for them. Church doesn’t enhance their life’s meaning. Church doesn’t offer meaning.
I once led an adult Christian Education class years ago called The Meaning of Life and we talked about everything from “what was the most important thing you did today?” to “what gives you energy?” The best songs, the best films, the best books, the best plays offer deeper meaning beyond the obvious.
Childish Gambino’s This is America is brimming with global, life-changing meaning – which is why it will transform people. It is a masterpiece of meaning.
Imagine if the Church was a masterpiece of meaning. Imagine if our boards and committees were focused on bringing deep meaning to the people in our flocks/neighborhoods/communities. Imagine if our preachers sought to provide a message of profound meaning to hearers. Imagine if teachers planned their lessons with the intention of offering some glimpse of life’s meaning to their students. Imagine if officers and other volunteers were equipped to be loving tour guides for this life’s journey pointing out the meaning all around us.
There is so much going on. Important things. But there are also many things going on within us and it’s hard to make sense of it all.
A thriving Church is a community addressing the meaning of it all.
Image of Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) from his song and video This is America which you can watch here. It will take countless viewings to make sense of it. And even then, we’ll need to watch it again.