Yesterday I decided to try a little experiment using the power of Twitter. If you're not familiar with Twitter, it's a social networking application that allows you to share your thoughts or activities, but requires you to do it in 140 characters or less. I had been listening to a recent sermon just to take the time to evaluate myself, and as I wrote some notes to myself at the bottom of the page I wrote this: "can you sum it up in a tweet – 140 characters?"
It got me thinking. Could I summarize an entire message into 140 characters or less? Are my messages concise and concrete enough to be reduced to that single, defining point? Of course 140 characters can't do justice to an entire message, but I'm guessing that what people remember (if anything) of a sermon is not the 30-35 minutes of words, but one main idea that keeps coming through. So I decided that as a year-in-review for myself, I would reduce all of my messages into a single tweet. It has been a challenging exercise, but one I think I'll continue because it forces me to distill the message down into its most basic and memorable form.
Below (and running backwards from the April to January) are the tweets I created to summarize the messages. I'll probably post the remaining ones tomorrow, or you can follow the updates on Twitter or Facebook. Both services require an account, but both are free.
4/25/10: Grace from our lips is like salt seeping into the heart of our community, it penetrates through even the toughest exteriors.
4/18/10: because Jesus is risen, work becomes a sacred thing, a place where the kingdom of heaven may break into this world by our actions.
4/11/10: our responsibility is to order our family around the risen Christ, keeping him ultimate when so many things compete for that title.
4/4/10: In the moment of Jesus’ resurrection the unstoppable force of life breaks the stronghold of death, crumbling its strength forever.
3/28/10: the way of Jesus offers both the freedom to follow him to the father, and the restraint to keep us from going our own way.
3/7/10: We would expect the Messiah to preserve himself, but instead he gives himself away for you. His sacrifice shows your true value.
2/28/10: Jesus is not a prophet, a philosopher or a religious and cultural leader, he is God who came in human form to bring us freedom.
2/21/10: when we choose to follow Jesus his life comes to enter us and begins to give light to our whole life.
2/14/10: Every other place we looked for bread to satisfy the soul has left us wanting, but in Christ our souls are satisfied.
2/7/10: we do not find salvation en masse, but in a deeply personal way because we drink deeply of his living water offered to us.
1/24/10: The gospel is not a sterile accumulation of objective truths but an invitation to consider whether or not Jesus is the truth.
1/17/10: The fairy tale gospel says that who you are now is not who you will always be – Cinderella hides under the ashes.
1/10/10: The gospel is summed up in the comedic picture of a well-dressed father embracing his filthy, pig-stink covered son (Luke 15)
1/3/10: The gospel strips us and shows us for what we are – naked, poor, pitiful and blind – but it does not leave us that way.