Sunday, July 26, 2015

It's Not Grandma's Church Anymore

I heard some interesting adjectives yesterday used to describe a newly married couple.  Words like color, vibration, sound.  They were used, by those closest to the couple, in the context of how they  observed the newlyweds interacting with each other.  These words were given as compliments, and as I listened I realized that they were given sincerely and with respect.   Although I didn't quite get the New Age terminology, in my mind I translated to my language - "We see how much you are good for each other.  You seem to be a good match."  (Not as hip, I know, but I think that's what they were saying).

So it's got me thinking.  It's got me wondering about all those words that are used to describe us Christians.  The good ones and the bad ones.  I don't think I need to cover them ad nauseum, but we can agree, I hope, that the words used to describe us are used because of true and sometimes skewed observation.

Now, to address the bad ones - unfortunately, we can't do anything about the "H" word or the "B" word in some eyes.  No matter how much is written or argued by many (this girl included), for whatever reasons there are, we will always be considered hypocrites and bigots.  There's no use trying to defend ourselves on that.  We will be seen that way by people who want to see us that way and it has nothing to do with us, but everything to do with God.  I'm hear to tell you, stop wasting your breath trying to justify or argue - it's something that can only be settled between them and God.

But, it does give me pause to wonder about those words I heard yesterday:  color, sound, vibration.  I'm taking a leap here, but I would guess that the colors that surround the H and the B word are probably black, maybe gray, brown, blood red.  The sound may sound like screaming, shouting, a loud foghorn.  And the vibration, maybe one that is annoying.  Like the vibration a train makes in your house if you live next to a railroad track.  It vibrates the house for a little bit, but then after the train passes, it's quiet again.  The dishes stop shaking and the chandelier stops swinging.

Here's what I'm starting to think the problem is in our off colors, our annoying sounds, and our distracting vibrations. We are observed this way because we don't know any other way to be.  We've been taught, we've observed, we've followed the ways of our organized religion without even knowing the stench we've put off.  We pridefully think our colors our yellows and pinks and pretty blues.  We pridefully think our sound is angelic and peaceful and we are shocked to even consider that instead of sounding like soft waves lapping on the beach on a beautiful summer day, we are instead an intruding earthquake shattering and splitting open wounded hearts.

It's a lot to admit about ourselves.  It's hard to imagine that we may be seen differently than what we thought we were trying to convey.  It's hard to swallow the pill of conviction.  Here, have a drink of the Living Water.  He helps it go down much better.    

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I pray also that the eyes of your heart my be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.  That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.  And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.  

Followers of Christ, we have a lot more to learn about Jesus than just what our Grandmother's form of church showed us.  It's not the same culture around the church our grandparents devoted themselves to.  It's becoming more like the culture Paul was in when he wrote this prayer down.

Paul didn't pray this prayer for unbelievers.  He prayed it for us!  He prayed it "ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers."  And then he told us what he's praying for us:

*  the Spirit of wisdom and revelation - why?  so that you may know him better.
*  the eyes of your heart to be enlightened - why? in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you.  And not only that, so you see the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, AND, I love this - HIS INCOMPRABLY GREAT POWER - for who?
for us who believe.

When we know this, when we ginosko this down to the bottom of our feet and to the deepest atom of our deepest cells, that's when our colors, our sounds and our vibrations will change.

How do we maneuver this culture in which we live?  With the wisdom and revelation and those formerly darkened hearts that have suddenly become lit up.

But the problem is, your problem is, my problem is - we don't know this.  We didn't know this prayer had been prayed - for us.  We thought it was for some folks 2000 years ago.  But it wasn't just for them.  It was prayed for all of us.  For us who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It's not just for the strongest of faiths or the most educated of saints, Paul prayed it for you!  If you believe in Jesus Christ - this prayer was prayed for you!

So, what are you going to do about it?  I see you have a few choices.

1.  Nothing.  You're crazy, Ronda.  You are just a gonging cymbal.  I like things how they are.

2.  Pray.  Pray some more.  Pray some more and some more and some more, until you know that God is doing something new in you.

3.  Believe.  Believe it's for you and it's time you start asking God to make it real in your life.

Then, who knows what God will do in your life, what things will start changing and shifting and leaving and letting go.  You may find some things become more important, some things less.  You may find you have a peace you can't describe settling into your soul.  You may see your fellow Christian - gasp, the one that doesn't belong to your denomination - as your brother or your sister in Christ.

Who knows what God will do?  God does.  And it's his business what He does.  Not ours.  Not our manipulation or "help" to do what only God can do.

He also know what you will do.  Don't you want to find out what he's truly capable of doing?  Don't you want to really see him in action?  Don't you want to just get a glimpse of that incomparably great dynamite power?

I hope you do.  I know I do.

Come on, we'll jump in together.  1......2......3.........Jump!



Ephesians 1:15-21

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