While I was busy getting a new blister on my right foot (it's always the right, I don't know why?) I started thinking about what Christianity means in these times. Okay, it's something that I've been thinking about, writing about, deleting words on. It's nothing new. Just so you know.
But the thought was this: we're living a watered-down Christianity.
This lifestyle isn't real. This isn't what it was meant to be. If we were living the right way, I don't think we'd be so comfortable that our biggest worry is about getting a bigger building, (or getting enough people to justify a bigger building), parking lots and accessibility. We'd be getting into trouble with the law for the good things that matter: righteousness, truth and justice in a land where it's scarce.
We wouldn't be arguing about whether the 10% is meant to be gross or net income. We'd be saying we've given so much there isn't anything left to give out of. That meal at the restaurant would really be a treat - a luxury - instead of a normal occurrence.
I think I wrote that sometime in October last year. I guess it ties in with the stuff I blurbed out in my handy Mark Twain notebook during service yesterday.
It is wrong. We move, when we should linger. We rise when we should be still. And we stop, jarringly, when we should flow. We are children pretending to know what we are doing, muddying the great flood of God's majestic river. We play in the eddies when we should plunge into the great flow, the mighty stream.It's a recurring theme. A deep dissatisfaction with where life is. Where life seems to be heading. And yet, at the same time, it's an acknowledgement that I don't know how to get there. Maybe I dream too big. Maybe I don't know what I'm asking for. Maybe I just don't know Him enough.
It is all wrong. It has nothing to do with our music, beautiful or not, rising to God. He doesn't need it. It is us learning to plunge into the music, the unheard music, that already surrounds us; learning to tap into His majesty and awesomeness that always surrounds us.
He sings over us. He dances over us. He spins His webs, His stories, His Words all around each and every one of us. All we need to do, is to be. Be open and receptive. To realise that He is there and to dance with Him, to His tune. Not. our. own.
We are rabbits. Frightened rabbits.
We are not even meek lambs who follow with trust and faith.
We are rabbits hiding in burrows, quivering when we should roar.
Roar! WHERE IS THE LION?
We are children of the King and our King is a mighty roaring lion, a raging fire.
So why are we rabbits in our worship?
Words are a powerful thing. Music is a powerful thing. Our God is more powerful than these for He made them to be tools.
I am tired of playing church. It is the time for the Church to rise up from its own ashes. We should be free of what people think our worship to be, but to be captured by what God wants it to be.
There is more to life than this.
There is a task to be finished.
There is work to be done.
And yet. We are too tiny for our God. We think too small. We are satisfied with the comfort of church as we know it. Maybe I've been too many places. Seen to many things. Or maybe I'm still young. I don't know what it's like to be old and deaf and timid. But it just seems that in catering to the weakest, we never get anywhere.
We are stuck in the same old rut of Some people don't like it. So we shouldn't do it. ARE THE 'SOME PEOPLE' GOD? Yes, we are there to lead people into worship, and yes, that does mean that we need to take into account the type of people who are coming into the church. But you can't lead by pushing from behind. You need to lead by being out there, by entering first. By showing them the way.
I would like a valid reason for why we keep on singing tired old songs when the Bible says sing a NEW song to the Lord. I would like a valid reason for why our music must be soft and tinny (and basically high-school-band-bad) when the Psalms say SHOUT with joy to God... Make His praise GLORIOUS!
I really don't know how quiet and faded and washed out translates into AWESOME AND GLORIOUS. Yes, there are times for that hush. But with that hush should come the majesty of His presence. Not the awkwardness of the band/worship leader doesn't know what to do now.
I feel that sometimes we are dancing to a different tune from where God would take us. Or maybe I am critical because that is not what I would do. So maybe I am the problem. Maybe I am getting in the way. Acknowledging this doesn't detract from the fact that frankly, it could be much better. We are a long way from arriving.
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