Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Worship with my bunch Sunday, both services, was vibrant, but failed to ignite this old man for the most part. The pastor’s morning sermon had me disagreeing with him in so far as several key points he made about faith and an unexplainable weariness drained me of all enthusiasm. I sat there feeling “guilty” and “grumpy”. It was much the same that evening, it seeming to me like the first twenty minutes of his message doing little more than reciting Old Testament history to us and most of it having nothing to do with his proclaimed subject of the prophet Amos being a “burden bearer”. Suddenly, though, it all got personal, the Holy Host providing an anointing that spilled over into the congregation, His presence filling the sanctuary, not to a complete immersion, but deep enough to make all there one in Him, final altar call a sea of people praying with each other. Indeed, nothing else mattered. When Christianity reduces Christ to anything less than a resurrected reality reconnected within us, it becomes nothing more than another religion, a list of “thou-shalt-nots”, an agenda whereby we “save” ourselves. When Christianity exaggerates the indwelling to the point of usurping its identity rather than surrendering itself unto His flow, it becomes a charade wherein, sooner or later, our inability to “call things that are not as though they are” has to face the fact that He, not we, are in control. In many ways, it is amazing to me, not just that God gives us grace in the beginning, but that His patience with us endures us in this stumble down the road. It’s the “funny” thing about “church” to me. In spite of all our humanity, sometimes the inner valve on our connection with Him permits an inner flow of His presence so strong that one has to either step into the water or flee the sanctuary to escape it. Faulty theology, yours or mine, doesn’t matter. Messed up in some way, still struggling even “in” Christ? He takes you “through the veil”, if only momentarily, an “osmosis” of sorts wherein all that matters is that He knows you and is with you in the next step. Judgment Day will sort out all the rest, each of us facing the facts as they apply to both sides of the pulpit. In the meantime, what we have is whether or not we will allow His Spirit to minister in our midst. In such waters, even an old bullfrog loses his croak…….
Posted by Jim at 6:39 AM