Last week I went to a seminar called Sharing the Gospel in the language of Neuroscience. It was one of those moments where your mind feels filled to capacity. I believe the technical term for this is “Full Brain.” I quickly realized it was going to take some time to process and empty the ol noggin. The seminar was led by a man named Curt Thompson. He’s a medical doctor and also the author of a book called The Anatomy of the Soul. It’s all really interesting stuff. Turns out, our minds have a lot to do with how we understand the gospel and even how we share it with others.
Turns out I like musicals. Who woulda thunk? Over the years my wife has shared her passion for theater with me and I am hooked. Musicals, like movies, teach me about the world. Les Miserables did just that. I watched the movie and felt as if God was shouting through the screen. It was beautiful.
Les Miserables taught me a profound lesson about grace and truth. It’s interesting, really. I think Jesus’ entire ministry can be summed up in those two words. In John 1:17 we read that “the law came through Moses, but grace and truth through Jesus Christ.” Grace says “you are forgiven, even though you don’t deserve it”; truth says “you need this forgiveness.” Les Miserables makes a similar connection. Grace and truth are two themes we see throughout the film.
In Luke’s gospel, Jesus does a lot of partying. He’s described as someone who is constantly eating and hanging with people that normally someone of his pedigree would avoid. He eats with the rich, the poor, and sinners of all kind. Some of his more infamous dinner guests are tax collectors and prostitutes. To eat with someone in antiquity was to declare social solidarity, which was a statement if someone was ever going to make a statement. It was to take a step outside of the social norm and embrace people whom you’d normally ignore and definitely not fellowship with. But this wasn’t the case with Jesus, someone who lived his life as a beautiful contrast to the way of the world.