• Stephan Joubert

Be the right bridge at the right place


I remember a photo I once took of a river that carved out a new path after a flood. The bridge that spanned the original river suddenly stood a few hundred meters from the water. A writer later applied this image to the church by saying that the church doesn't always keep up with new paths in life and risks ending up as a useless bridge standing off to one side. Rivers don't have to stay on a predetermined path. Being a river is all about transporting water, not about maintaining existing routes. We sometimes get stuck in the rut of over-used life routes. We tend to forget that our job as believers is to transport living water to where it is needed, and not to maintain age-old faith routes. We are full-time distributors of hope in Jesus' Name, not upholders of old traditions. No, traditions aren't all bad. We should strive to keep the meaningful traditions that we inherited from older generations in order to better understand God. But it would be a mistake to keep up traditions that alienate new generations from God. Then we become useless bridges on dry ground.