New Wine Bottles?

Last week I visited the Whole Foods Market in West L.A.

Walking the aisles I saw shelves of wine and hard liquor - Vodka and the like. And what struck me were the bottles. One in particular was white and translucent with a tear drop shape, with an added long beautiful slender neck. It made the drink inside look very tasty (is that the word?).

Wine is still wine, and liquor is still liquor, but my eyes immediately went to that trendy looking bottle.

Now, I don't drink, but I bring this up, because if Jesus used an analogy of "new wine" going into "new wineskins," I figured, I could take a cue from Him and use this modern-day wine bottle design to say something.

This past friday I had the opportunity to show an old Christian music video to my youth group. I grew up on this stuff and I know it tremendously inspired me to live for the kingdom of God when I was 13 years-old. But, I had forgotten that these videos are now over 10 years old. And these kids are of a different generation. Only ten years younger than me, yet they were never around to witness the birth of the Information Superhighway - the Internet as we know it today - is something that, in their minds, always was.

No, I'm not trying to make a separation between the generations. In the Body of Christ, there is no such thing. The Spirit of God brings unity in the bond of love.

But, back to the Vodka (and yes, I'll get to JOHN somewhere in this blog!). It was striking to see it in a deliciously new fangled bottle.

Last week I picked up a worship music CD called "Passion: Everything Glorious." It's a live recording born out of the Passion Conferences in the U.S. for college-aged people. The music is all out rock. Yet, the lyrics, and the spirit of the songs, and the guest speakers (like John Piper, Beth Moore, even Kirk Cameron) often associated with the Passion Conferences - their message is simply this: Let's live a Christ-centered life.

These college kids attending these conferences call themselves the "268 Generation." It's from Isaiah 26:8, which says,

Yes, LORD, walking in the way of Your laws, we wait for You;
Your Name and renown are the desire of our hearts.

One of the songs on this CD is called "All We Need," and a part of the lyrics goes like this: "Rich or poor, God, I want You more / Than anything that glitters in this world" (Written by Charlie Hall. Copyright 2006 by worshiptogether.com Songs / sixsteps Music [ASCAP] / Admin. by EMI CMG Publishing).

Did you hear that? These college kids, instead of drinking it up or partying it up, are saying with all their being: God, I want You more than anything that glitters in this world!

JOHN is a project for the entire Body of Christ. Young and old. Black and White. Yellow and Brown. American and Russian. Chinese and Mexican. African and European. It's for the suburban church. It's for the underground church. It's for those who have bowed the knee to Jesus - and for those who have yet to "taste and see that the LORD is good."

So, I've begun to email the headquarters of the Passion Movement at 268generation.com. I've sent a postcard to the headquarters of JAMA: Jesus Awakening Movement for America/All Nations. These are the ministries that I know of who want to reach the young generation, to call them to arms for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To live God-centered lives. I'm sure there are many more ministries like these.

Oh, how I was touched to receive a message from a believer in Croatia, who prays for JOHN. Oh, how I was touched to see a message from a brother in South Africa. (The World Cup will go to South Africa in 2010. I pray that the Gospel would go forth as well.)

Contact the radio stations. Talk to your local pastors. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Contact the youth conferences. "Preach the gospel in season and out of season."

We are co-laborers in His kingdom. "Onward Christian solider, marching as to war..." As we fix our eyes on Jesus, propelled by the Spirit of God, "we stand alone together," as we strive with the Spirit of God to bring THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN to the screen and JESUS into the hearts of many.


Susan said...

Hi Ronald,
I love the "Matthew" video. Would be great to also have "John". Best wishes for the journey.

KTR said...

That is so cool that you are contacting "this generation" ministries. Gives me more ideas, too :^)

Amen, amen to your proclamation, "The Spirit of God brings unity in the bond of love."

May the Lord continue to guide us in "the miracle of John" and use this film (making it and viewing it) in His over-arching miracle of making us one in Christ.

Love to you all in Jesus' Name!

Sharon said...

Announcing another radio interview that can be heard on the internet!

June 29, 2006
“Live with Jeff and Lee”
Minneapolis/St. Paul
5:15 p.m. CDT (3:15 PDT)

Anyone, anywhere can listen to these interviews online – just connect to their web site and click on the listen button.

Need to figure out the time zone difference for your location – go to www.timeanddate.com where you will find a time converter. You can convert the CDT by using Chicago to match up to your location – or you can convert the PDT by using Los Angeles to match up to your location.

Godchaser said...

Interesting, I was just having this conversation with my photographer friend as we listende to a rocked out version of It is well with my soul. He contended that the new sound brings Christian music to young ears. I contended that a new sound still has the responsibility of conveying the original message. If the authors message gets lost then what is the point. I love new things. ( I remember life before MTV) but ....I love the message more. a painting without the right frame, a lyrics disconnected from the music itself, a post modern film that confuses the message of Christ in its disjointed images, or a ripple bottle with champagne inside is really a sad commentary on the way we do things now. I love new, I'm not afraid of new, but I also love a story well told with all the qualities that will truly bring it to life in the way the author intended,not the way some new guy sees it.We've got to get the right message. Amen?

Evelyn said...