I did promise some time ago that I’d write up a talk I gave on one of my heroes (are we still using the word heroine?) Frances Crosby, and I will, I swear, soon. For now I want to talk about how I actually came to be giving a talk about Frances Crosby.
Each year Moore College has a mission on which we are sent to various churches around NSW (and indeed one team went to Germany this year). The Churches organise our time with them differently, but generally we’re programmed in a range of opportunities for sharing with people about Jesus in a range of contexts. This year I was given the job of speaking at a dinner and Jazz night. The brief was the room would be (mainly) filled with Baby Boomers, though there would be some others too. I had to give a short talk about Jesus at the event. To make things difficult, they had already put out advertising material and given me the topic “The point of life” (it’s mildly witty because I was speaking in a community hall in Sandy Point).
My own personal brief was a bit more stringent:
I’ve been to plenty of these sorts of things where any kind of Gospel presentation comes on like changing down to 2nd gear from 5th. I didn’t want the talk to jar with the rest of the night. Although I like Jazz, I certainly can’t put my sax down and start preaching (let the reader understand).
Juxtaposed against this I wanted to say something meaningful, existential, something that spoke powerfully to the experience of those listening both Christians and everyone else. I wanted to show just how attractive Jesus is without simply vomiting up the Gospel that people are want to ignore on account of familiarity.
Finally I had a problem – most of the people in the room would be Boomers and I am very Gen Y. I needed to figure out a way to bridge that gap quickly in anything I said. With a topic like “the point of life” I was worried about being the 2osomething telling the 50 and 60 year-olds what their life is all about.
So I decided to try and find a point where Jazz and Jesus intersected. It was Monday, I had 4 days thinking time and about 8 hours total to write the talk. Tomorrow I’ll tell you how I did it.