I work on the staff in a local church. My work includes preparing the weekly message for display on large screens in our Worship space. This week the message triggered a train of thought regarding “generations” and the discussion that usually crops up when we think of them.
In the sixties I heard the “generation gap” talked about by the talking heads on the TV news. When I left my career in the information systems industry and traded it for a Bible (life with Jesus) and a volunteer position in a small church I began to hear about all kinds of generations: The Builders, The Boomers, The Generation X(ers), The Ys, The Busters.
During the past several years the books written for people who work in churches have used the terms “modern” and “post-modern” referring more to two paradigms of thinking about life and events than actual chronological generations. In essence these terms refer to the same concept as “generation” and really harken way back to the sixties, because what the terms are really about is a generation gap. The moderns don’t really understand the post-moderns, and visa-versa, and a lot of thought is being spent on bridging the gap so that the two groups will be able to talk to each other and communicate.
Communication along these lines appears doubtful. I read the other day that post-moderns do not like to be called post-moderns. They think of themselves as “birds.” So modern paradigm book writers and even some post-modern paradigm authors have been calling them (themselves) the wrong thing all along.
I begin this blog in hope of pointing to the ultimate end of all this relatively meaningless discussion about generation gaps and to energize a global conversation and even activism centered on our essential unity. It is time we recognize the end of the gap. Two-thousand-years ago The Creator of The Universe and of human-kind became flesh and in so doing ushered in a generation to end all generations, a transcendent generation.
Many of you already know this. The problem for me is that the only place you ever hear about this remarkable event is in some (not all) churches. So, this blog is going to attempt to illuminate events in the light of this “new” understanding of generational politics. The generation of those who have met Jesus needs a voice in things that does not sound Catholic, or Presbyterian, or Southern Baptist, or Independent Baptist, or Episcopal, or Lutheran, or Methodist, you, get, the, idea. Lets engage in a great conversation coupled with action and see where Jesus leads His generation.
I think we need a name for it!
Lets call this generation “the ichthys generation“. Ichthys is the transliteration of the Greek word for fish. Some followers of Jesus put little “fish” symbols on the rear bumper of their cars. That’s it, the icthuse. The ichthys generation cuts across all age groups and intellectual styles. It puts an end to the trivial differences and celebrates the essential unity of all of us in the midst of our humanity. In the ichthys generation there are no races, no sexes, no nations, no religions, no us, no them. We have all become one people by the unifying act implicit in the birth, death, and resurrection into a new life (a life we may all share in) of Jesus The Christ.
The ichthys generation exists because Jesus is alive.
We are all invited to join with Him as He lives out His Life among us. If this seems difficult to believe – if you think there is some kind of nuttiness going on here – that’s cool. Just come back once and a while and check out this blog. I am attempting to make sense of if all, free of the constraints of the usual religious thinking. Let me know what you are thinking along the lines of this whole God thing or no God thing and perhaps the conversation will grow large and inclusive and turn into a pleasing symphony of voices seeking meaning and perhaps God as we all walk together on the journey. The only journey.
Thanks for being part of the beginning.
Robert Curtis – activist, the ichthysgeneration – santa rosa beach, florida