Mosaic Message in Blog Form

23 09 2011

Hello, everyone.  This will likely be my last blog post before I leave for England; afterwards, my blogs will be about my experiences across the pond.  I spoke at Mosaic yesterday, and the following blost (remember, blost = blog post) will essentially be my message in blog form, with some additions/changes because I don’t have a time restraint here.  So without further ado, here we go.

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The organization that we are a part of here is called Mosaic.  Mosaic is a subset of CSM, Christian Student Ministry.  The event was renamed to Mosaic from the former name ‘Worship Jam’, which was honestly kind of lame.  But, what is a mosaic, exactly?

Well, my dictionary calls a mosaic “A picture or decorative design made by small pieces of glass, stone, or other material.”  Here are some examples of mosaics:

Pretty, huh?

This is a lily, made only from colored pieces of glass.

I am your mosaic...

This is Darth Vader.  If you didn’t know that, then that’s a problem.  This picture of the Sith Lord is made from bottle caps of different types and colors.

The key part of mosaics, or the ‘salient feature’ as us Oxbridge majors say, is that they make a picture of something.  Therefore, an organization called ‘Mosaic’ would logically make up a picture of someone, or something.  So, what picture do we make up as part of Mosaic?

The answer to that is simple:  Jesus.

I like the name Mosaic a lot, and I like its metaphorical image.  However, we attenders of Mosaic often place emphasis on us, the different parts of the Mosaic.  We focus on the fact that we are all diverse and unique, but we are all bound together in this nice, happy, nurturing community for our benefit.  Community is nice–but really, it is secondary.  The focus of a Mosaic is not on its parts, but on the whole, regardless of their similarities or differences.  In a good mosaic, you don’t really even notice the parts.  Jesus, our mosaic picture, is not an excuse for us meeting in this community.  He is the reason for this, the sole purpose for our meeting together and even our very existence.  Though a subtle difference, the emphasis is not our community through Jesus, but an emphasis on Jesus and the resulting community.

If we are to represent Jesus accurately, we need to be Biblically based and uncompromising in our beliefs.  Too many times, we Christians balk at the prospect of standing up for beliefs in a world where large chunks of Jesus’ message are ‘uncool’.  We need to take a firm stance on what we believe in.

There is a passage in the Bible that is very telling of God’s opinion on those who don’t stand up for what they believe…

Revelation: so much more awesome and understandble via Lego storytelling

…but it is before the ridiculous parts, so its easy to understand and is very plain.  God is sending messages to various churches in Asia Minor via Paul’s letters.  This is a section of the letter to the church in Laodecia:

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.  You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.  Revelation 3-15-17

These are pretty harsh words, but this isn’t God being a bully.  God is using this language to hit home and to be clear.  He wants us to stand up for our beliefs.  He wants us to stand up for who he is and who Jesus is.

Though we may bicker on secondary issues–we are fallible humans after all, and we come to different conclusions sometimes–there are core issues that we should all agree on–those who disagree with these core beliefs simply aren’t Christians.

The first issue that we should all believe:  Jesus is God, Lord, and Messiah, and He claimed to be these things.  I’ll back it up with scripture–primarily from the book of John, because it best shows Jesus’ mission and identity:

John 1:1-2, 14  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the father, full of grace and truth.

                                    John 4:25-26 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) is coming.  When he comes, he will explain everything to us.  Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”

                                   John 8:58  I tell you the truth, Jesus answered, before Abraham was born, I am!

                                   John 10:30  I and the father are one.

This goes on and on, not only in John, but in the rest of the New Testament and the rest of the Bible.  Jesus is God, our Lord.  An objective reading of the Bible clearly lends this result.  The evidence is overwhelming.

One of my favorite authors is C.S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia among other things), and his argument for the deity of Jesus is one of the best out there.

C.S. Lewis, English author and professor

In Lewis’ book Mere Christianity, he argues that there are only three options in examining Jesus Christ.  The first option is to write him off as a lunatic.  The second option is to write him off as a liar.  The third option is to accept him as Lord and Savior.  There are no other options–the popular ‘Jesus is a great moral teacher’ is impossible considering what is written about him.  Lewis also says that, by far, the most likely option is that Jesus is Lord.

The second thing that we cannot disagree on is the fact that Jesus is the way to salvation–the only way, at that.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life

                                 John 5:24  I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life; he has crossed over from death to life

                                 John 14:6  I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.

‘No one’ is pretty clear, and that’s another thing that Christians need to really stand for.  We really believe Jesus is the only way for salvation, but people get mad when we say that–they think we are rude about claiming that we are the only ones who are right.

Probably way fewer people would say that if we actually were loving about it.  We need to say the truth in love.  In 1 Corinthians 13, love is described, and many of you have heard it: no love = resounding gongs and all that.  But really:  Love is patient, love is kind.  How many of us have been impatient or unkind just once this very morning?  We need to stop and really soak in what it means to love.  So many don’t get it, and that’s the most important part of being a Christian–the affiliation of so-called believers in Westboro, for instance.  That’s what happens without love.

Finally, if we really believe this, we should tell people about it.  If we really believe that Jesus is God and the only way to salvation and heaven, why aren’t we telling people about it?

Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  That’s Mark 16:15.  It is not called the ‘Great Suggestion’, but rather the ‘Great Commission’.

We make a mosaic of Jesus.  So, we want to depict him accurately.  We can’t muddy the waters with emphasis on us–we will fail.  Jesus won’t.

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Sorry for the length, but there you go!  Apparently, when I said “we need to stand up for Jesus” I sat down on a stool…so in order to make up for that, here’s a picture of Garrus to close:

Garrus thanks you for reading.

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