Jesus has arrived in Paris. No, he didn’t just land at Charles de Gaulle…He came in from London on the Eurostar!
Of course I am trying to make you laugh and thankfully Jesus is everywhere but let’s just say that the acknowledgment of Him in Paris has been pretty nil lately until now!
What seems like lifetimes ago I had the privilege of singing with Darlene Chechk from Hillsong “Down Under” – her music and ministry is truly anointed and the Lord used her music to minister to me and encourage me during an awful chapter in my life. “All things are possible” I used to sing, rejoicing and crying because nothing nothing seemed possible at the time. Upon my limited interaction with her it is clear she is a powerful Christian with an intimate relationship with the Lord. She wrote many songs you may (as a Christian) be familiar with; Shout to the Lord, All things are Possible, The Potter’s Hand etc. And I have seen Hillsong Church on T.V….wow!
Well, I was puttsing around on the internet the other day trying to find churches (Evangelical/Reformed/Protestant etc) in Paris (St. Michaels and the American Church in Paris being about as good as it gets) when I discovered that Hillsongs is alive and on fire in Paris every Friday night over in the Les Halles area!!!
This is a really big deal.
I have heard the rumblings of the French being more open to the Gospel lately (for a (portion) fascinating article click here) I have heard of a thriving church in Nice but a growing church in the heart of Paris – well, all things may be possible but I never thought it would happen.
“Oh, ye of little faith.”
Turns out, for many people that whole, “God is dead” thing isn’t working out too well for them. I wonder why.
If you could only understand my curiosity at what a “Christian Parisian (ne)” looks like. In America we have this “Christian stereotype” – bubbly, non-wine drinking, smiling, maybe even kind of frumpy – or the opposite – the slick, matching pantsuit worship team member look…allow me to prattle on…
The Parisien (ne)’s (the extra”ne” indicating female Paris dwellers) are on the whole NOT a bubbly, smiling people and they definately are not giving up their wine. On the metro they don’t feel the need to make cheery eye contact should your eye’s actually connect. They seem to scowl unless chatting away on their cell phone. They seem to always be in a hurry, they don’t make small talk with you while standing in line at the bakery. All the “look at me, I am so nice” things American’s do to connect with each other – well – the French (Parisiens) think we are plum crazy for.
SO, this leads me back, yes, I am finally getting somewhere, to my big question – what does a Parisien (ne) Christian look like? If it is not in your culture to make cheerful eye contact or engaging small talk with someone how do they know you have “they Joy of the Lord”? If you still enjoy a glass of wine with your meal (quel horreur!) how will people see that you are different from all those other heathens???
I love the French and the way they do some many things. I hate the pressure to make cheerful eye contact and small talk and heaven knows I drink a glass of red wine with every meal I make (and I cook at least 6 nights out of 7!) When I am there, a certain pressure if OFF that I don’t realize I am under until I am within this more reserved culture – I can just keep to myself and be me and not be considered cranky for it – so again…what does a Parisien (ne) Christian look like? The entire concept is completely fascinating to me and I just wish an Angel of the Lord would appear in my bedroom tonight,
“Behold child, I have called you to Paris. The streets of Paris need the Gospel. Take you and your family.”
I would stand looking grumpy yet full of the love of Christ on the street corners with the Africans handing out their pamphlets, – only mine would read,