Here’s three short posts I ran around this time last year that I thought worth repeating. Summer reruns, I guess.
|The Dangerous Act of Worship
“Our central lie is in the discrepancy between the language of worship and the actions of worship. We confess “Jesus is Lord” but only submit to the part of Christ’s authority that fits our grand personal designs, doesn’t cause pain, doesn’t disrupt the American dream, doesn’t draw us across ethnic and racial divisions, doesn’t add the pressure of too much guilt, doesn’t mean forgiving as we have been forgiven, doesn’t ask for more than a check to show compassion. We “sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” expressing our desire to know Jesus, but the Jesus we want to know is the sanitized Jesus that looks a lot like us when we think we are at our best. Despite God’s Word to the contrary, we think we can say that we love God and yet hate our neighbor, neglect the widow, forget the orphan, fail to visit the prisoner, ignore the oppressed. Its the sign of disordered love. When we do this, our worship becomes a lie to God.”
~Mark Labberton, The Dangerous Act of Worship: Living God’s Call to Justice (Downers Grove: IVP, 2007), 71 — h/t Andrew Hamilton blogging in Australia at http://www.backyardmissionary.com/
To all the hearts that have been broken,
To all the dreamers with abandoned dreams,
To everyone in need of a friend,
— You are loved, You are loved;
To the rebels wounded in battle
To all the rockers that have lost that beat
To all the users who are all used up now
— You are loved, You are loved.
~from the mid ’80s by Christian Rock band, THE ALTAR BOYS; this was running through my head this morning as I felt a hunger and desperation to know deeper the reality of God’s love for me as an individual; something that we all need to strive to be more aware of. His love for us is there and it is constant; it’s our perception of it that changes with circumstances and feelings.
I’m standing on the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She’s an object of beauty and strength and I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and the sky come down to mingle with each other. And then I hear someone at my side saying, “There, she’s gone.”
Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side. And just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “There, she’s gone;” there are other eyes watching her coming, and there are other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “Here she comes!” And that is dying.
No, it’s not C. S. Lewis. Attributed to Henry Scott Holland or Henry Van Dyke, depending on who you ask.