Do you ever wonder what we as Christians are doing? What games we are playing in the name of Christ? We center our lives around a Sunday service all the while ignoring the real issues and demands of life. We sit next to one another not knowing what the person next to us is going through or has been through recently. Lack of connection leaves us thinking of where we'll go for lunch or how good it will feel for this one hour (Lord knows we can't go over that.... We Christians have an order to things and Holy Spirit-you need to move on our time table!)to get over with so we can get home to rest on the couch! Most of us are hurting inside wanting to scream for help while singing "Open the eyes of my heart, Lord" (all the while thinking MY EYES ARE WIDE OPEN, LORD and someone needs to tell me how to deal with this issue in my life!) There are many dangers in this.... one of them being that each of us feels like we are the ONLY ones feeling this way...are we weird? why can't we get it together? what is wrong with us? (and it doesn't help when the Pastor uses "you" statements instead of "we" or "us" statements)
What would Jesus see if He walked into our services? The reality is that He is already there; yet, we don't worship this way. Instead we have "praise" bands singing unto themselves! I believe that the majority of Christians want to get past this superficial existence; yet, it is this "entity" the church that stifles us. Pride, ego, and politics of the church (the entity-not the body of Christ) get in the way of true ministry. We are content with hearing pre-packaged sermons about reaching out, growing in our relationship with God, becoming like Christ...but in reality, we aren't ACTUALLY doing these things.....they are just nice things to say. We sit in bible study and debate what an author means in a particular sentence so that we don't have to actually LIVE OUT what the author is stating.
What is this about? We had this discussion last week at bible study and the majority of the class agreed that church today in America is more about money and power players than anything else. Think that sounds harsh? We also know that we can't point fingers either b/c you and I are also part of "we"
I want to resolve to not center my life around this entity but rather the body of Christ truly functioning as the Body. I want to live out the gospel....living in love, having compassion for the hurting, giving the lost hope, restoring the broken to God. Shouting to the world that my God has redeemed my life! He has turned my ashes into beauty. He has taken me from the pit of despair and given me a hope and a future! Isn't this a more meaningful existence? (not easier, but more meaningful?)And regardless if it is meaningful or not, isn't it what we as Christians are called to....commanded of?
I hesitate to write b/c again I believe the majority of the Church (the Body) long to reach out, live REAL, minister the TRUE gospel (not the fake gospel we in America have created as our own god), bear one anothers burdens, pray for one another, and live in community. But, I also believe church as the entity needs to be exposed if Christ is really to be exalted.
I think of the verse that says "If the world hated me, it will hate you also." Don't be surprised when you try to live this out, if you experience this. When you read the NT, you see that Jesus was rejected by everyone....most of all by the religious leaders. So, if you are attaining to live out His "burning heart" in this world, be forewarned... that kind of living will not be received very well by all....But, consider it joy to share in the sufferings with Christ b/c then and only then can we see Him in His fullness.....and be made into His image.
Live your life to glorify Him in all you do! Ask God everyday to give you the blessing of HIMSELF! That is where true joy, peace, and contentment come from...entering into His presence and living by His Spirit. And by the way, you can't do any of this on your own, lest any one of us should boast, but rather in complete dependence on Christ everyday. Pray for His burning heart, to walk in REAL love (love that can be ugly to those around you).......for pure motives, and for the "eyes of your heart" to be opened to the world around you....and maybe even the person next to you in the pew.....singing with you..... and sometimes- even screaming on the inside with you.