Back in the African American churches of the early nineties we had a saying, “if it ain’t about Jesus, it ain’t about nothin.” During the announcements, a silence; somewhat of a hush would come over the church, I took it as a rest from an active worship service. Slowly the pastor’s wife, we called her the first lady would begin to say, “welcome everyone, and an extra special welcome to our visitors we are glad you are here but more importantly God is glad you’re here.”
She would then continue to read the bulletin for that particular Sunday; she would run down the list of upcoming events and meetings.
After the list was completed she would usually put her two cents in and add some incouraging word. Most days she would offer a quote, a familiar chours of a good ole gospel song, but today it was different, it was a bold, stern, yet compassionate statement that she seemed oh so clear about, “if it ain’t about Jesus, it ain’t about nothin.”
In a time where we are concerned more about labels than what is lacking on the tables of 1.2 billion underfed people around the world. The world is looking at the church to see how it will move.
So we move, we write, we film, but not to eliminate hunger but to defend our beliefs. 30 percent of the books that came out last year had topics that defended the faith among other Christians. We are spending our time arguing about postmodernism, fundamentalism and every “ism” in between. News media did a lot of major broadcast about Christianity; most of it was turned to questions about the divisions of Christians over the war, Bush, and a pastor’s salary. These are the issues the world see’s us focusing on. How embarrassing for us, no how embarrassed for Jesus. 5% of kids in your city will sleep on the street, 11 % of adults will, but still church meetings are concerning themselves with the new sound system, the $700.00 graphic software or the new padded chairs. Somehow I don’t think this is what Jesus meant when he said it will cost a lot to follow him.
I still hear that echo, “if it ain’t about Jesus, then it ain’t about nothin.” Everytime I hear a theological argument, I hear, “if it ain’t about Jesus.”
The church today would rather stand behind a policy rather than a people, a conservative rather than a community.
I just say to myself, “if it ain’t about Jesus, it ain’t about nothing.”