The Mute Button

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This video project is entitled The Mute Button. It is an example of a flash mob, something you have probably heard of or seen. The flash participants are to go about their business amongst an unsuspecting crowd. At a designated time they all mute themselves while continuing with whatever they were doing.  So, a couple is arguing, a man is playing a saxophone and dancers are performing and all of a sudden the shouts are gone, the voices are silenced and even the music has stopped.

It probably will not go down as the best flash mob scene ever, but it was a good idea and something worth trying. In the video there is also a street preacher engaged in ministry, atop a light post. That was a good addition; of course people think I am a little biased. It did remind me, though, of the quote from Francis of Assisi: "Preach the gospel. And if necessary, use words."

I do not remember where, but I have heard before that may not be Francis' quote. That is something for other people to decide. The idea, in part, is that preaching the Gospel is a lot more than having a polished script handy. It requires action.

In John's Gospel account, Jesus told his disciples, "If you love me you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15). Earlier he had told them of his new commandment to love each other just as he had loved them (John 13:34). Many people, when they want to express their love for someone else, try to figure out what they want to tell them. Thus, the sappy love notes. Darn you Hallmark! You have crept into every facet of life.  I think it was Jesus who said, "More than words is all you have to do to make it real."  Okay, maybe that was a stretch, but I bet we would all be surprised by Jesus' mellow vocals.

Earlier in John's book Jesus tells Nicodemus that God so loved the world that he gave them his only Son. Maybe you have heard that verse. Any good wrestling fan has.  It implies, probably, a lot of things to many people. For us right now I think it might mean: God so love the word and did something about it. We do not have sappy love notes from God. Thanks be to God!  Please do not say the Bible is a love note.

In scripture, we have an example of doing. As Christians, our words have become less and less influential, meaningful and even tolerable to those listening, or just passing by. What people will notice is what we do with our faith.  I have seen forgiveness expressed by a hug, a silent embrace. What about when we follow through with our words and stand with those who need someone?

Understand, I am not suggesting that preaching cannot and does not involve words. That is too simplistic.  Besides, what would I do on Sunday mornings? I am, however, suggesting that maybe we need to be willing to hit the mute button every now and then and get to preaching with our lives.  Some of us need to mute some others of us, but that might be another sermon.

For some people that sounds easy. What about you? How are you able to "preach" the Gospel? Any ideas? If you were the street preacher on the light post how would you show the Gospel once you were muted.  Stay blessed...john

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