In case you didn't read the last couple of posts, this week I'm leading worship at Bethel Camp, in the hills of Kentucky. An hour or so ago I was camped out in the bushes, attempting to ambush Jr. Highers who are much faster than I am. But I have an edge; they may be fast, but my brain isn't a sea of raging hormones. So I hid in the bushes and let them run to me. Point for the old guy. But enough about my tactical prowess.
Earlier today I was having a conversation with Mark Driscoll. You heard right Mark Driscoll, but not the one with the giant church in Seattle, which is fine by me, I like this Mark's theology a little better. We were chatting about Jesus, which is really an invigorating topic when you're talking with Mark. Jesus' first miracle popped into our conversation, the one where he gave booze to a bunch of already tipsy wedding guests, which made me think about how un-Jesusy Jesus often was, continually bending the lines we trace around him.
So this thought was bouncing around my head all day, up until we started singing. Lo and behold, I had a song request to sing "Our God" which starts with the line "Water you turned into wine." So I began musing, as worship leaders do (even though they criticize every other worship leader who does so) about the conversation we had and how fascinating Jesus is, when I realized that I'm about to tell a bunch of Jr. Highers that Jesus' first miracle was making alcohol.
Thankfully I realized what was happening before I said it.
The tricky thing is, that was Jesus first miracle, and it is outside of our Jesus box, but two things occurred to me: a) I realized that there were several people present a bit more conservative than I, and really all they had asked me to do was sing some songs and b) if I did say that was Jesus first miracle, I'd have to spend at least another 10-15 minutes clearing up any confusion I would have created. These are after all Jr. Highers. Jesus loves them, but he does so in spite of their lack of logical thinking abilities.
I continue to hate watering things down, especially when we water down such a vibrant personality as the Son of God, but I think I've learned there is a good and bad time to try to communicate certain things. And depending on the timing I may not communicate what I'd hope to.