The Defining Event

Brian Bauknight



?I thought last night’s presidential candidate debate was largely a non-event.  The hype for the 90-minute affair was incredible.  One network even had an on-screen countdown in the lower right-hand corner for two days!  MLB and the NFL seemed after-thoughts by comparison. 

 All real news seemed to pale into insignificance.  Only the weather was “normal” in broadcast schedules.  Countless pundits were summoned to multiple studios to offer their pre-debate analyses and predictions.  To this viewer, the pre-debate debate seemed to go on for weeks.
Yes, I watched it.  Or most of it.  I walked out several times to do other things.  I found it boring, inconsequential, nothing new or fresh.  After all the hard sell build-up, it was—for me—a non-event
I live, love, and serve because of the most defining event in all of human history.  After several centuries of prophets and prophetic literature among a relatively obscure group of Hebrew people, after God’s call to a deepening relationship with the Divine, after persistent calls to mercy and justice through generations of sometimes receptive, sometimes very resistant  and stubborn people, Jesus of Nazareth appeared as the defining event for your life and mine. 
His life, his teachings, his “way”, his death, and his victory over death becomes the center point, the pivotal fulcrum, the baseline (all images from my mathematical training!) for the living of these days.
As history’s defining event, Jesus is the ultimate expression in human form of who God is and what God desires for humanity and for the world.  Other towering figures in religious history reveal much of this same God.  But Jesus is the single, most revolutionary, most complete image of the invisible God.  When we look at Jesus, we catch a glimpse of God. When we watch and listen to Jesus, we understand what kind of “Kingdom” God wants for the living of these days.
Jesus announces a God who has a passion for justice, righteousness, love and a servant lifestyle.  And He still issues the same, simple life-changing invitation: “Follow me.”  The Jesus Event holds the preeminent place as the Defining Event in human history.  As one writer put in some years ago, “He is the still point of the turning world.”
How do you receive, announce, proclaim, and model this incredible, beautiful, and holy defining event?


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