S04E065, Watering It Down, Andy B 2 Minute Video
If you buy something in a concentrated form, they you need to add water, usually, in order to make it user friendly.
From screen wash for our cars to squashes in our kitchens and washing up liquid, we routinely buy things that need to be watered down to use. The obvious advantage is that, just like Ikea, furniture that arrives flat packed, you can transport more of the end product when it is concentrated while being transport.
I recently attended a church where I saw a massive range of work for the city they serve. But, what I didn’t see was Jesus.
The Bishop of Winchester upset a lot of Anglicans when he took office, because he said that while churches need to serve the areas where they are based; while they need to provide for the needs of the people in the community, those same people needed Jesus far more than a meal, or debt advice.
We see in Jesus a model of serving people, and frequently meeting their needs in order to win the right to speak into their lives.
This is perfect - of course it is! But, please, let’s make sure we don’t stop at helping people, when what they need far more than food or clothing, is Jesus. I totally agree with the Bishop of Winchester on this point.
Thanks to The Devotional Guy for my final inspiration today, and his idea about how we may be the only bible that somebody gets to read. https://thedevotionalguy.blog/
So let’s make sure we’re easy to understand, and available for people to see Jesus in.
So another Andy B 2 Minute Video, and I've been thinking a little bit about Watering It Down.
Now, if you're drinking a squash, then it comes in a concentrated bottle, you add some water, you water it down, and you get it to the taste that you like.
But we went to a church recently and, what we found was, they'd watered down church so much they kind of forgotten about Jesus. And this is something, speaking to some friends, is kind of normal across the UK. Not sure about the rest of the world. But they were really big into caring for people, and doing things for people, and giving stuff, food, all that kind of stuff. But what they were missing out on was, was the message of Jesus.
And the thing is, if you watered down the message of Jesus, you lose Jesus, you can't water it down, it is what it is. And just like that squash, we can water it down so much it, it no longer tastes of the very thing it's opposed to. Now it's just like water with a bit of flavour, and it's not very tasty.
And the gospel is offensive!
The Gospel says, if you don't change, you can't go to heaven, and you're gonna go to hell. It's a really strong message.
In just a couple of days, you've got Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The glorious message is we need to change in order to have the opportunity to go to heaven. We have to choose to do that. But we don't have to water ourselves down as some people might think, you know, you lose yourself. Well, you do, but what you lose you gain from the glorious richness, and beauty, of a living Jesus Christ.
So watering it down, can be a good thing, sometimes, if it's a squash, and it's concentrated, and you need to make it more usable. But when it comes to the Gospel, let's not water down the gospel! God doesn't need us to defend Him. He's plenty able. Scripture can already do that.
But let's be so careful that we're not watering down the gospel, and just the nice bits of being kind, and loving, and compassionate, all that kind of grace, grace stuff, as important as that is. Because as much as we need to feed people, and to show them, the love of us as people who know Jesus Christ, far more than anything we can give them is the beautiful relationship they can have with the Lord Jesus Christ.
So watering it down can be good and it can be bad. But when it comes to our faith, let's not water it down. Let's let Jesus speak powerfully through us, as I read somebody wonderfully wrote, "you might be the only Bible that somebody ever gets to read".
Just a thought.
Written by Andy B