Editor’s note: Today we welcome Mark Menegatti to the New Evangelizers blogging team!
Can there be any good news in a culture of consumers and materialists bored with everything obsessing over replacing their currently obsolete new smart phone?
Can there be any good news when all the Billboard hits are about heartbreak and sexual manipulation?
Is there any good news left among talking-heads sheltered and fortified in their mutual distrust and hatred? Whatever happened to good news?
Well, we have good news! This new app will simplify your life! This new product will solve all your problems! This new candidate cares about you, and will stand up against the institutional bureaucrats to get what you need!
People are tired of being sold to. They would rather go to the farmer’s market then the super market. They would rather download free indie music from artists they believe in then the artists the entertainment industry tells them to believe in. People would rather get passed the salesmen and shysters for something genuine and lasting.
Okay, things might be more nuanced then that. Some people would rather not complicate life by getting outside the pop culture, supermarket, iTunes box.
What I do know is that people are somewhat weary of “good news,” because it is so superficial, so trendy, so fading. Well, people are more weary of salesmen and spinsters then they are of good news.
Every salesman has a good news that they are selling, and their customer is merely a means to their own gratification.
But aren’t Christians selling Jesus? I bet many people are tired of hearing us sell the good news, because they’re afraid we’re salesmen. They’re afraid we are looking for our advantage.
To be honest, the image of the studded suit television preacher and faith healer making money off innocent believers is so deeply embedded in our culture. People are likely to have a gut reaction to this approach.
The simple solution, often proposed, is to “preach always, with words when necessary.” To win them over with the sweet aroma of the Life of Christ. It all sounds so beautiful and poetic. Integrity and tangible actions, I still believe, are more powerful than words. Our Liturgy gets its life from processions, offerings, elevations, and all sorts of gestures.
All of that though, is never quite enough. Christianity can never be that safe as if our silence is sufficient. It is a really dangerous line for us to cross and to invite others to cross.
It is a risk to invite people to look beyond their impressions of sales pitches, to look with us at something marvelous, that Christ is the font of all that is wonderful, spectacular, and invigorating to us.
Copyright © 2012, Mark Menegatti