On our way to the church where we are volunteering for the time being we experience a clashing of two worlds. First world and third world flowing into each other, a brand new Mercedes Benz and the poorest of the poor so close to each other that the underprivileged man can smell the fumes from the vehicle and the poor man a blur in the rich man’s mirror.
It’s a mind-bender to see the two worlds so close to each other. This weekend I was asked to preach on work at Ruimsig (Afrikaans for ‘a vast view’). My topic, to be precise, was on ‘what do I do if I don’t like my work?’. I didn’t like the topic so I changed it (quite a paradox)!
Would Jesus preach to the white-collar people on how to get a better job? Especially if their jobs are only a way of funding a selfish, ego-centered lifestyle? I don’t think so.
Most of the churches we’ve had contact with in the last few weeks have a huge thing about target markets. The funny thing is that most of the pastors here target the rich middle and upper class. These churches are in danger of sacrificing the essence of the gospel for a homogenous group of people all rich, selfish and burnt out telling each other that they’re OK. Well they’re not.
I preached my sermon (it frustrated me again). Upon reflecting I wondered if I should not have dragged the Ruimsig crowd into Zandspruit (the squatters camp where all the poor people live). The rich and the poor could have made eye contact, smelled each other and who knows even talked to one another!
Slimer and I had a discussion about the grip that materialism has in Johannesburg. It is a huge challenge for the white churches here to liberate their people from an unhealthy worship of things and stuff. May God help us, and may it start with me and Lollie.
The things that come out of a man are they that defile him, and to get out of them a man must go into himself, be a convict, and scrub the floor of his cell. George MacDonald.