We live in a world of broken relationships, sex-tape scandals, and posterior enhancement surgeries. I know, of all the topics that I thought would never touch an Anglican Church blog, the crazy topic of injecting silicone into one’s backside probably would have been a safe bet. And yet here we are!
If you haven’t gathered, I am speaking of uber celerity, Kim Kardashian. Currently at the height of her celebrity status, she is held up as the current model of what it means to be alluring, attractive, and desirable. She graces the cover of several magazines on a monthly basis. She is worth an approximate 500 million dollars and is the key name behind a successful television series and a fashion line. She is the reigning queen of the contemporary branch of celebrity: those who are famous for being famous. Based on the world’s understanding of worth and accomplishment, Kardashian has it in spades.
Yet this isn’t the entire picture. Her history in the public eye hasn’t been all roses and rainbows. There has been a long line of broken romances; a sex-tape leaked to the public; a 72 day sham of a marriage; and a subsequent divorce that threatens to tarnish her carefully crafted image.
And then, of course, there is the constant talk of Kardashian of having silicone mounds implanted into her posterior.
Sounds laughable doesn’t it? But just think about this: Here you have someone who has both fame and fortune at her fingertips, who is the culture’s example of success and desire; and yet she feels the need to inject silicone filled masses into her tuckus because it is the size of her behind that will make her feel worthy and loved. Does this not speak to a deep ache in her life, an ache that will only serve to haunt her as she tries to fill it with a thousand faulty schemes? Does this not uncover a deep, deep brokenness?
This may very well be a humorous anecdote regarding the faulty security found in money and fame, but isn’t it true that we all echo this brokenness to some degree? Do we not recognize our own need for love and self-worth? The fact of the matter is, that deep soul-hurting brokenness so evident in Kim’s surgery of choice isn’t just something that inflicts the Hollywood stars and starlets. It is alive in our very congregations.
Neither we nor our churches are immune from the struggles of life. Sometimes there are deep and unimaginable pains that inflict us. In our pews there people who suffer illnesses only defined as unbearable. There are those walking through the painful process of relationship-breakdown. There are those fighting the guilt over some action done or not done. And while we stand in our pulpits preaching on a variety of theological topics, there are those who are considering going to extreme lengths in order to feel loved and accepted.
I believe the question for us, as preachers and holy people, is this: are we consistent in proclaiming the availably of God’s grace-filled kingdom in those hurtful and heart-wrenching places? After all, Jesus’ message was radically one about the availability of the kingdom of God for all who were searching. Jesus taught and modeled that his presence alone could provide one’s ultimate healing and liberation.
Do I preach that same message? Do we? Does the theological discussions and distinctions so prevalent in our ministries, give voice to the availability of God’s kingdom to those considering implanting a mass of love and self-worth into their lives? How does the preaching of Christ and him crucified make its way to that situation – to a situation which at first glance would seem beyond the realms of theology and religion?
The fact of the matter is, this the world that we live in. We live in a world where people inject silicone into their rears in order to feel loved. We live in a world people often feel powerless against their hurts and pains. We live in a world where people are crying out for something or someone that will give them healing and wholeness. And in this screwed up, backward, often on-the-wrong-track world, we have been commissioned to speak of God’s kingdom of love and peace, and its availability of all who are searching.
We should not be interested in speaking to religious people about religious concepts – which may only serve to make us feel more comfortable in our religiosity. We are called to speak the Kingdom of God into the lives of all the messed up, twisted around, confused, hurting, people who just want to be free from their demons of worthlessness and lovelessness. Let’s tell them about the Kingdom of God and introduce them to Jesus.
I await your thoughts and responses.