Wow – what started out as a great idea fell a little by the wayside. The story of our blog kind of parallels the story of Renovatus. Renovatus was young adult innovation at its best! What an amazing idea. It just made good sense. A multi-sensory approach to an experience with Jesus Christ. After all, the Bible is full of really experiential encounters with the divine. And it started off amazingly, but like this blog, it turned out to be a lot of work to continue. But after more than seven years it was still going. That was quite a feat. There has been some incredible Friday nights like the Middle East Feast we had sitting on the floor with cushions. There have been plenty of incredible nights! The Survival Quest was original as was celebrating football season. But there has been some nights when we had a total of six people turn up, the sound system go down, with a slightly off key singer (don’t worry, I don’t mean you.)
But the question remains – is it worth saving? If you ask me: absolutely! I know that Renovatus still has life in her. Maybe she needs just a shot of adrenaline. But the original vision is still there and is still as relevant as ever. Experiencing Jesus. “The truth as it is in Jesus can be experienced, but never explained” (Christ’s Object Lessons, 129). We desire to know Jesus and experience Him in a living way.
When I went to the Middle East I visited a number of places claiming to have some connection to a Bible Story. There is a strong debate between two possible sites claiming to be the tomb of Jesus (another one just announced its candidacy too). The traditional location is within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. A controversial site is called the Garden Tomb and is outside the Old City. Which ever place where Jesus was buried isn’t the point of this anecdote. The Church location venerates Jesus as if He was still dead. People come to pay homage to the crucifixion site, the tomb, and even touch and prayer upon the slab where they *allegedly* laid his body. It’s as if people would prefer it if they could see a body still there in the tomb. However, the Garden Tomb merely creates a place of reflection. Reflection on the idea that Jesus is not longer in the tomb, but is alive. Jesus is alive and is pursuing us so He can have a friendship with us. That friendship with Jesus is where Renovatus finds its purpose.
Renovatus exists to provide an experience whereby people may come into a relationship with Jesus Christ. We don’t explain Jesus, we experience Him. As we continue the renovation lets keep this at the forefront of our mind.