Jesus in the Culture
Yesterday morning we worked on several homes, two of which are nearing completion- the owner's being more anxious that we are to get on with their lives after over a year of severe disruption. The cabinets now need only a couple coats of varnish to be completed.
Yesterday afternoon and evening were put aside for experiencing the local culture. We roamed downtown Nasville, the parthenon, the Country Music Hall of Fame, then ate at a restaurant featuring a bluegrass band and ended up at the Ryman (the original site of the Grand Ole Opry) for a Vince Gill Bluegrass concert. For the purposes of a work camp, this is not just entertainment, but a way of trying to see what Jesus and our faith look like through the eyes of people in a different culture. This different point of view will help us understand ourselves and our faith better, and perhaps be more tolerant of other people's views.
Vince, for instance, joked about having visited prostitutes and entertaining people on their ways to various states of drunkeness. At the same time, he praised his wife, Amy Grant, who got those same people "saved" on Sunday morning- as if the Christian faith had mainly to do with where we go when we die and faith had mainly to do with "believing Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God" rather than actually following in the ways of Jesus. The content of the old Bluegrass songs supported that same understanding of the faith. Tonight we'll talk about these things and sing some songs and make some prayers befoire we pack our bags to go home to Iowa.