For a good chunk of today, I’ve been listening to Mike Yaconelli’s address to the students of Eastern University, Philadelphia (the three parts of which can be found here). I guess if you’re not familiar with the guy, one way to describe him would almost be a Christian Bill Hicks – funny, rebellious, and often ranting against the inadequacies and sheer foolishness of the culture he found himself in the middle of – while being totally aware that he was as much a part of that as anyone else, and thus in need of grace, same as us all. Just listening to his stories and his explanations of grace makes me realise how often those of us who align ourselves with Christianity really gut the message of Jesus, and I’m just thankful a guy like Yaconelli was around to shout about the wonder and the danger and the joy and the rock and roll of a life lived not for religion but for God Himself. It’s a blasphemy to make God boring.
Sadly Mike died in October 2003, but we’re blessed to have had him around; anyone who pastored the ‘slowest growing church in America’ because it kept scaring away visitors must have been doing something right….