The Baptist Times Paul Hobson did a good job at covering my mad street theology project…
The reason why I wanted to do the project is that in town and city centres up and down the country there are signs on lampposts stating ‘stick your gum here.’ The pictures are usually of Ostriches, George Clooney or a vote as to whether you like marmite or not.
We wanted to do this project to gage the reaction to the offer to stick gum on a picture of Jesus… to show something of what Jesus took upon himself. The place we chose to go was a privately owned shopping centre, the only centre of Chelemsley Wood. On the way the guys with me placed ‘gentlemen bets’ as to how long I would last before being asked to move. Neil was the most pessimistic and won as I lasted 6 minutes.
On the back I carried a sign that read: Once upon a time there was a man who took upon himself the rubbish, hate and brokenness of the world.’ I then included a verse from the bible which stated: ‘This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.’
Tony who watched me with my unusual sandwich board said: “I was shocked that so many people would stick gum on the picture of Jesus. Two women thought it was blasphemy and shouldn’t have been done; this was surprising as the whole idea was to show what Jesus did for us. I think the picture offended older people more than younger people. It made people stop and look.”
Neil said: “It took Jesus into a place where people didn’t expect to see. People expect Jesus to be on a golden cross in a nice building; we took him to a place where he was treated without respect. God became a man and died a gruesome death outside the city wall and the messiah was found outside of the respectable place of the temple. ”
Tree of life is about making people think about God and spiritual things. This project hopefully will have challenged people to think about Jesus. For more information about Tree of Life visit http://www.thetreeoflife.org.uk