Once again, I almost met a spider face to face the other morning. Yes, I tore the web down with a stick. I don’t mind if she builds one over the compost pile to pick up as many flies as she wants, or on the garage wall by the picnic table and feast on the ample supply of mosquitoes. Just not next to the light switch that I need each morning when I go outside, thank you very much!
So hello to the spider on her web (I say “her”, for those of us who may remember either Charlotte or Shelob), and as slight as it might seem, the gossamer tensile strength of the web is formidable, yet it undulates with the slightest breath of the morning breeze. Its form may change, but its function and tenacity do not.
As much as I join the ranks in vilifying spiders along with all the negative messages attached to them—“the web of deceit”, the face paintings at Halloween parties, and all that—I suppose they don’t fully deserve the bum rap laid upon them. Anything that eats bugs can’t be ALL bad.
So I’d like to make a public service announcement in honor of the spider by using her in a positive analogy (fancy that) that follows:
When it comes to the Gospel, the good news about restored relationship with our Creator, the function remains, but the form changes, or as some prefer, the methods of communication change by necessity of culture, but the message, like God Himself, is eternal and immutable.
Here are a few practical ways (corporately):
- Music (no, drums do NOT usher in demonic influence, as postulated in the 1980’s; yeah, lived through that one),
- Modes of communication, (I’ve gone beyond learning how to turn on the computer),
- Language and translation, (no more burning at the stake for a Bible in my own lingo, thank God for those courageous ones….),
- Ways of connection with other people (I had no idea I’d meet so many cool folks on the internet!)
But how about individually?
- Ways of studying the Bible are now myriad thanks to free access (in American that is, and let’s not take it for granted),
- Prayer (simply communication with God, which is to be creatively explored, see HERE for examples),
- Job descriptions within the body of Christ (how does an evangelist operate these days?)
- Financially (it ALL belongs to God, not just 10%).
As time moves inexorably forward, modern life will continue to change, and response to those changes will bring new opportunities to revisit our methodology. No problem. We can consider the spider. As the breezes blow, she stays on her web. She is patient. And when the breeze becomes a storm, and the web is knocked down, she rebuilds, because that’s what she is created to do.
Being created in His image, surely we can do no less.