Sitting with students talking about the evening meeting they said, “We just wanted to update the Passover, to make it relevant today.”
I was torn. Their desire was to make the old resonate, to make sense, to hit with power and to touch the reality. That desire was to be encouraged, affirmed and developed. This generation needs to feel and know the power of the Old renewed. Yet, the attempt to ‘update’ the old – as though it had become out-dated and impotent – was an unwitting step too far, it is a step away in trying to step forward.
The power of the Old (in this case, the power of the central and defining story of rescue and redemption in the Old Testament) is precisely in the retelling as it stands, faithfully communicating the details of God’s faithfulness and glory. This old, old, story is new today because it is untold and largley unknown.
As we told the story of Passover that night, people listened and felt the power of the connection to the other old story – that of Jesus’ final meal before His arrest and of how we renewed and fulfilled the story of Passover to become the story of The Cross and Resurrection: the defining story of rescue and redemption in history.
The old is to be renewed in each generation: the stories retold so that they maybe worn new in clothing the hearts and minds of men and women who hope in God’s rich and great Promise.
I was no different as a student, I thought somehow we needed to update the old to be relevant in the new. 20 years on I saw in that gathering of leaders the desire to grow, the longing to communicate and the very hope of the old renewed in each generation: I saw the Hope of Jesus working it’s way out in their fragility and their desire for faithfulness in making Christ known.
Such is the work of reaching students for Christ and changing students for life.