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Susan and Joanna: enacted parables for our age
Two ladies from very different backgrounds and in very different reached and touched the hearts of a nation and beyond.
A WEEK after singing sensation Susan Boyle’s performance appeared on YouTube it had notched up over a hundred million ‘views’. (If she was a preacher we would think revival had come.) Of course we all, by now, know the story: everyone was waiting to be entertained ¬– but not-so-much by her talent, as at her expense; through that homely though somewhat-crumpled lady on stage.
Yet when Miss Boyle started to sing the ‘Wow’ factor produced a stunned silence and eyes full of tears; the impact on the studio audience, the judges and the viewing public was nothing short of sensational. Watch it again.
A beauty spectacularly revealed
Video of Susan Boyle
If God has ever given the world a lesson on the error of judging by the world’s standards Susan Boyle was and is it. And our catwalk world needs to know what the church of Christ should ever remember. Appearances, status, wealth, intellect and power are not the criteria that God employs in choosing whom He will use. David was just a boy, the disciples were unschooled fisherman and God once spoke through a beast of burden.
A stunned world realised that it had got it horribly wrong. And perhaps that same world will see beyond the marred and broken figure on the cross, and see through ‘religion’ – a portrait of God painted by the devil – to behold the Son of God in all His risen glory.
Conviction, Passion, Justice and Mercy
|MEANWHILE another lady – this time an attractive and well-know actress – displayed conviction, courage and passion as she courageously defended the cause that was and is so obviously dear to her heart.
As we watched Joanna Lumley, publicly force from the disconsolate and cowed government minister a succession of policy reversals regarding the Government’s treatment of the Ghurkhas, there was a palpable sense that she had the power to bring down the government; even a strong government.
She touched the same and innate sense of justice, fair play and compassion in the populace that the Government so clearly failed to understand. Pray that the Lord will raise up His servants to speak with His power and His conviction so that they will speak as those ‘with authority and not as the scribes’.
Conveying Christ's beauty with compassion and power
If those of us who seek to make the Saviour know were able to present Christ with the same beauty as Ms. Boyles’ voice along with the same utter conviction as Ms. Lumley brought to her campaign, then how changed our world and the effect of the church's message on it could be.
It may be that we are required to ‘defend the faith’ and ‘work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling’. We may be dragged into courts and wrongfully accused. We might fight oppressive legislation and assaults on freedom of speech. We might have to face the juggernauts of humanism, Islam and whatever else the enemy might throw at us.
All these things we might do and be required to do. But to convey Christ in all His beauty, and to do so with such eloquence and conviction requires the third person of the Godhead. Only the Holy Spirit will suffice. To win hearts and change nations, nothing else and nothing less will do.
Christians Together, 18/05/2009