about the audience
I have three audiences especially in mind:
CHRISTIANS, PEW-SITTERS, TREADMILL RUNNERS:
One is the Christian who struggles (knowingly or not) with who God is. Surprisingly, a majority of Christians in their relationship with God see him more in his role as judge than Father. Not so with Jesus. He is like a friend who loves me and laid down his life for me. But God … he sits on that great throne in heaven, high and lifted up, watching me–not easily pleased. Such Christians live life on a performance treadmill, forever running and always slipping a little farther behind, living like a grown-up child forever trying to please a father who is never satisfied. On one of my zigs (or zags) late in the journey, I finally realized that this is not the picture of God Jesus came to show to those who would learn from him. Of course God is judge. But to those who would learn from Jesus, he has given the right to be the children of God (John 1:12) and to have the kind of relationship with the Father that he always intended. Jesus’ perspective is readily accessible to all in the Gospel accounts of his life (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). These are the primary records, teaching us who Jesus is, what he about, what his agenda is, and what he came to teach his disciples (apprentices).
UNCHURCHED, OVER-CHURCHED, PEW-BURNERS, AGNOSTICS, NONES:
The second audience is those who may not consider themselves Christians, who may consider themselves not religious, or who are agnostic, even atheist, or a “none.” “None” is an increasingly popular designation for a wide variety of people. The word “none” comes from the survey answer about religion: “none of the above.”
I am increasingly conscious of the oft-heard view that Christians are self-righteous, hypocritical, judgmental, and generally irrelevant to “real” life. This weighs heavily on me and has for the past decade or more. What many say about Christians sounds a whole lot like what Jesus himself said to the religious leaders of his day. Gandhi said it well: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” I think it a safe bet that Jesus is not jumping for joy over this, especially when he himself said, “everyone will know that you are my disciples [i.e., that you are actually learning from me] if you love one another” (John 13:35).
NUMBER THREE = NUMBER ONE
The third audience, first really, is the Weaver, for whom I hope to portray some of the beauty and truth of the tapestry and the tapestry maker in some small way.
For myself, I’m hoping to live more and more like Jesus—and speak (and write) in a way that resembles what he would say or do. For this to happen, I need to increasingly think like him. We do live out what we think. Christians are, after all, supposed to have his “mind” (think like him) who humbled himself and took on the form of a servant (see Philippians 2).
Feel free to nail me when I don’t…