Posted by: dowsmallgroups | 27/09/2010

What planet are you from?

Sometimes you wonder what planet you are living on. On the train last week I overheard a lady phoning an ‘exotic vet’ wondering if her pregnant pigmy hedgehog’s baby was ‘stuck’, ‘eleven days overdue’. Compared to that, my concerns, regarding the mortgage and utilities, my children’s schooling and the car tax seemed somewhat prosaic.

What particularly struck me was the sheer breadth of life experiences people ‘enjoy’. On the same train, speaking the same language but the hedgehog lady’s problem was completely alien to me. I could sympathise with her feeling of helplessness confronted with a problem outside of her competence, but it was a very different experience to my every day.

This is the dichotomy at the heart of evangelisation, of spreading the gospel message that each member of the Church is called to proclaim. How far removed is our experience, of church, of faith, of Christ and of God, completely alien to the people we meet today. When we talk – if we talk of our faith – are we going over their heads, or speaking past their ears rather than to their hearts.

Jesus spoke in parables, examples and stories that drew from contemporary life, in order to lead people to a deeper truth. I suppose the question is: can we find a language that speaks of our God to which people can relate? Is it possible for us to find and speak in parables today?


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