The image that I simply cannot release from my mind is the world (think globe) on one end of the teeter-totter and the a church (think building with steeple) on the other end. It is an image that has grabbed me and I begin to think about meanings and possibilities.
Convicting thought for me: I don't think either of these entities is looking to be balanced.
I think the world spreads its message of freedom, individualism, power, wealth, and dominance to woo more people to its side creating a heavy weight lifting the church off the ground. The church spreads its message of freedom, power (in christ), grace, love, and salvation to attract the masses so that the world becomes helpless as it sours in the sky on the other side.
And while I am always for the church, Christ's bride, could this be the wrong motive? It seems to me that the motives (assuming this is what is really happening on the playground of life) are both driven by power and the desire to "win!"
I think that is what made Jesus unique. He wasn't driven by winning or for accumulating power. Why? Because you cannot be driven to achieve something that you already obtain. Christ already had won and He knew where power originated and that it will never change hands. Jesus wasn't after being the heaviest kid on the playground so that he could taught those kids who were malnourished of truth, power, or freedom. Instead Jesus holds down their side of the teeter-totter so more can have a chance to play.
The church is only in a power struggle with the world if we allow for the world to have power that was never theirs. The Bride of Christ was not established to outwit, outlast, and outplay the world. The Bride of Christ was established to give the world a chance at a new game and form of play...living, breathing, and loving their Savior, Jesus Christ.
"I am one in whom Christ Dwells"
"We live in the unshakable Kingdom of God..."
Both of them are statements from James Bryan Smith from his Good and Beautiful Series (I noted them at ACU Summit several years ago)
When we choose to acknowledge these truths and live them out we can stop our worry about being the helpless lightweight kid on the other end of the teeter-totter screaming at the top of our lungs to be put down. Sometimes you have to walk the plank of the teeter-totter down into the world and find that there is more good to be done there than preaching people to your side simply to overpower it. Jesus had much to say to quell people who were out for the power and typically they were the religious ones.
I would hope that we can view the world as what God has given to us to enjoy, live abundantly, and share the goodness of Christ with instead of a place to be conquered for Christ. They are not a conquest. They are a people. We (the church) are not their savior. We are a people. And we are all here to relate with God and one another.
The best play on the teeter-totter is not when the heaviest kid leaves the lightest kid in the air as long as he can like a bully with no remorse. The best play on the teeter-totter is when each kid is using their weight and legs to push off back and forth, so each enjoys the abundance of joy that the playground has to offer.
May we live the abundance of Joy in life and through that abundant joy tell a story that the world wants to hear.
-Jesus according to John 10:10 (NRSV)