God is eternal and therefore gives meaning to every age, culture, and worldview. For this reason, Harambee Church seeks to continually understand cultural and worldview shifts to effectively contextualize the gospel for new generations, cultures, and races.
Man has many distractions but no meaning. Meaning comes from purpose, and if we are truly, “Happy accidents,” as Harvard professor of Zoology and Evolutionary Theory, Steven J. Gould once referred to our existence, then our purpose is contrived, and meaning lies extinct. The more man runs away from his purpose to glorify God by enjoying Him forever, the less meaning he will exact out of this purposeless existence.
Privy to this reality, Jesus Christ reminds His followers that, “He who loses his life for My name sake, will find it.” This is the grand paradox of the Christian faith. The more we pursue meaning in a material world the more it eludes us. The closer we come to the reality of God’s narrative, the more meaning we find in our lives. Meaning is found in our eternal creator. Jesus indicated in John 17:3 that, “This is eternal life, that you may know the one true God, and His Son Jesus Christ whom he sent.” God’s story (The Gospel, meaning “Good News”), is comprehensive, and begins with the creation of our environment and our ancestral existence.
While evolution may have discovered elements of God’s adaptive mechanism placed in creation to adapt and change to the environment, it fails to give life any real meaning; instead it beckons for an existential leap into individual heroics, which ends up proving meaningless in a large, cold, and purposeless universe. God created as an expression of His being, and desired that mankind (made in His image), would relate and glorify Him forever. In His sovereign will, he allowed mankind a freedom that, in His purposes, degraded into a rebellion of His creation, bringing forth condemnation and futility on to humanity, and a separation from God that ends in death, judgment, and nihilistic meaninglessness.
Since the dawn of man there has been paradoxical war within our souls that bring out the sublime as well as the demonic in human nature. In our overwhelming desire to create meaning for our broken lives, we revert to the desire to be our own gods, and fail to worship God for His goodness. As the story goes on we see a compassionate God, who relentlessly begins to pursue those whom He chooses; men like Noah, Moses, and Abraham; and nations like Israel (Jacob), all the way through Jesus Christ and the church. In every one of these choices God expressed his compassion and desire to save man from their predicament, but man consistently chose—and chooses--to run from the true God for the one made with human hands. In every work of God, His people were expected to live their lives in a way that would glorify His name.
If God is the creator of the universe there is no more worthy object that we can serve, honor, and give our affections to. Once we make our existence a purely existential one we fail to realize or see the pragmatics of thinking in eternal means. Subsequently, our joy is temporal and dies with our fleeting lives. The ultimate fulfillment of our lives comes as we place ourselves in God’s story through the cross of Jesus Christ and we begin to live a journey in God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. This is the big misunderstanding of Christianity. It is both existential (here and now), and eternal! John 17:3 reminds us that eternal life is about a restored relationship, not a place of existence.
When we are rightly related to our creator, we begin a journey of purpose that makes our life on earth as valid as it is in heaven. Meaning, and ultimately our joy, comes from this connection to the gospel. Meaning begins to work its way into our lives, and is ultimately perfected in eternity with God. The quicker we can relinquish our own attempts to be God, the faster we will enjoy the abundant life that Christ had promised (John 10:10). For this reason, it is imperative that this story reinvents itself onto the pages of every human culture, race, and generation.
It is our joy and desire to contextualize the good news of Jesus Christ in a language that can be relevantly understood in our cultural context. Therefore the gospel’s story remains, but is retold in many different wineskins, appealing to the current language of the people. We do this because we are motivated by God’s love for us, our love for God, and our love for others. We are thus compelled to retell God’s story, and bring worshippers into God’s kingdom for His glory! We are created to worship, and until we place our worship on the correct object, we will remain a people seeking meaning in a cold dark existence.