In just 6 days, we will begin one of the most important series we’ve ever done as a church—Vintage Jesus.
What does “vintage” mean?
Webster’s offers the following:
(1): a season’s yield of grapes or wine from a vineyard (2): wine ; especially : a usually superior wine all or most of which comes from a single year b: a collection of contemporaneous and similar persons or things : crop2: the act or time of harvesting grapes or making wine3 a: a period of origin or manufacture <a piano of 1845 vintage> b: length of existence :
None of those really captures it. We’re not talking about grapes, and there won’t be any wine tasting this go around.
“None of those captures it?! Pastor, that’s the dictionary. If that doesn’t capture it then you’ve trapped the wrong word!”
Well…no, not really. For example, that third one is on the right track, I just don’t think it travels far enough down the tracks. By saying that vintage can mean, “a period of origin or manufacture” they get close to where we are going because they are talking about the time frame of the introduction of the original, therefore the ‘real’ thing—the authentic one.
That’s closer to what I will be driving at in this series.
Maybe an example will help. When you think of cola, what comes to mind?
Soda of any kind?
All the above?
Truth is, there are an infinite number of variations (i.e. ‘knock offs’) of the original when it comes to cola. But, if I string out the entire name—“Coke a Cola” then you have a pretty good hint. Over the years we’ve dropped the “Coke” part.
Well, I say “we,” but more than likely it was intentional on the part of the makers of “Pepsi” and other copy-cats. When you are trying to get people to move away from the original to your “close, but no cigar” replica, you can hardly accomplish it by reminding them of the original every five seconds. It’s bad for business.
Let’s try another example.
Because we had so much fun with the first.
When you need to hand out copies of a document, a lot of the time you say that you need to use the “Xerox” machine to xerox some copies—or you will ask someone to go xerox a few copies for you. But low and behold, when you get to the machine, you are just as likely to find a Canon, or a Toshiba, a Kyocera, or a Ricoh as you are a Xerox. But way back when, Xerox was the original—so much so that the word “Xerox” is often used for ‘copy.’
And even when you or I want a “soda” of any kind, we might find ourselves actually asking for a coke.
Finally, the Bible tells us that Satan is the great counterfeiter. He loves to get as close to the original as possible without pointing the way (in any way) to that original. The hope is that you and I will follow the wrong (counterfeit) path our entire lives until we see where it inevitably leads (hint: think hot).
I believe we are living in a time of unprecedented confusion about the person of Christ. Ask 10 people who Jesus is and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. This is a tragedy with ginormous spiritual consequences. Tomorrow I’ll tell you what’s at stake and why you need to do whatever it takes to get everyone you know to Southbrook church for the kick off of this series—THIS Sunday!
See you there!