I actually have a couple of things going on today. The first is something short, sweet and encouraging. It was something that my wife read to me from the inside of a CD, we recently purchased. It was something that put a lot of different things into perspecitve for me. The main thing that I got from it, was the simple truth that we dwell on the negative aspects of things far too long and do not realize how unimportant and trivial the mistakes we make are. When our life ends and our time here runs out, the Lord will not remember how long we spent feeling guilty about our mistakes. It is going to be a time to rejoice. I just wanted to share that with anyone who is looking for something more.
The quote is in reference to the Resurrection of Christ, but it got me thinking “outside the box”:
He came back.
After that brutal Friday, and that long, quiet Saturday, he came back.
And that one intake of breath in the tomb changes everything. It changes the very reason I drew breathe today and the way I move about in this world because I believe he’s coming back again. The world has gone on for more than two millennia since Jesus’ feet tread the earth he made. What would they have said back then if someone had told them that some two thousand years later we’d still be waiting? They would’ve thought back to that long Saturday and said, “Two thousand years will seem like a breath to you when you finally lay your crown at his feet. We don’t even remember what we were doing on that Saturday, but let me tell you about Sunday morning. Now that was something.”
These many years of waiting will only be a sentence in the story. This long day will come to an end, and I believe it will end in glory, when we will shine like suns and stride the green hills with those we love and the One who loves. We will look with our new eyes and speak with our new tongues and turn to each other and say, “Do you remember waiting? The long years, the bitter pain, the gnawing doubt, the relentless ache?” And like Mary at the tomb, we will say: “I remember only the light, and the voice calling my name, and the overwhelming joy that the waiting was finally over.”
The stone will be rolled away for each of us.
May we wait with faithful hearts.
The second thing that has been traveling around with me these days has been a continued concern with how groups look at the church. I see that I am surrounded by dicsussions that put the idea of tradtional church up against the idea or home church, non-traditional church, postmodern church or whatever term you want to use. Recently, I hears a song that had a line that really caused me to “jump out of the box” on my thinking.
“And every Sunday morning you can see the people standing in a line. They’re so hungry for some mercy, for a taste of the Communion bread and wine. It’s a window in the world, a little glimpse of all the goodness getting through. And all along the way the days are made of little moments of truth.” ~Windows in the Word by Andrew Peterson (Same CD as referenced above).
The line got me thinking, since I do tend to be a little more of the non-traditional vein, though I have on numerous occasions expressed my thoughts on the debate. I want Jesus to come first and if you are feeling moved toward Him wherever you are at, then I encourage you to keep on doing those things that draw you closer to Him.
When I heard it as I was driving, a small light buld flashed and I asked myself, “Why the struggle and why the debate?” What if we looked at those lines on Sunday morning as opportunities to grow, to share life, to actually break down the walls that put us into different camps or traditionalist vs. non-traditionalist. I want to see those lines as opportunities to have conversations and have them extend beyond Sunday. I think that we need to focus on stopping the debates and the struggles on this man centered quest for who is right and focus on how we can share life with one another as believers. We need to learn that these “windows in the world” are also windows into the eternal realm. Windows into the Kingdom that we need to look through. That is the great things about windows, no matter what side you are on, you have a view into something else. Something that is different from where you are at in that moment.
If you are inside looking out, you might see a place that you wish you were, or a raging storm. If you are standing outside, you might wish for the safety of the house, or you might witness something you want no part of, but there are different worlds and different perspectives on those pictures. I want to see less debate about who is right and who is wrong. I want to hear fewer comments about what is necessary and what is not needed in order to worship the Lord. We are all a part of the body and we all have different theories on how we are to worship, but we all desire to worship. What is needed to worship?
A heart is needed; a heart that is firmly focused on the Lord. The rest of it is fluff. The rest of it is stuff that needs to be cleansed and washed away. But is we cannot put those things aside and only can focus on the debate between traditionalism and (I hate this term) postmodernism views of the church, then the Body is suffering for the sake of the flesh. There is a desire to be right, to prove a point. There is this part of our humanness that causes us to put the Lord on a back-burner and fight for our viewpoint on what is right and what is wrong.
I want truly life-giving relationships. Those types of relationships are not dependent on one methodolgy of thinking or the other. Those relationships are only built when we can put the self aside and truly share Christ and those things that the Lord has placed on each individual heart. We need to see those lines as opportunities to share Christ more than on Sunday morning. Those lines are people that are thirsty and hungry for the Lord and we need to open up our own hearts to the fact that sometimes we tend to be more of the problem and less of the solution.