“…speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15
I was maybe 9 or 10 years old. I was at church (Dad was a pastor…I was ALWAYS at church), playing with a friend out on the church playground. It had rained, so there was plenty of opportunity for slipping and sliding. One of us had the brilliant idea of using the slippery circumstances to stand up on the slide and “surf” down it. The “brilliance” of the idea, however, was soon overshadowed by the sharp pain on the back of my head after it hit the slide on my way down. I couldn’t see it, but I knew it had to be bad by the way everyone kept reacting to it, and by the way my parents threw me into the back seat of the car and sped off to the hospital.
This was a day I would face yet another fear on my long list of childhood phobias. This was a fear near the top of the list, one I had carefully and gratefully avoided until now: stitches. I can still remember the word coming out of the doctor’s mouth…He was almost apologetic about it, and yet he was certain. I wanted to ask, “Are you sure?” But I could see it in his eyes. There would be no getting out of this. I knew it was inevitable. So I mustered up all the trust I could find and I put myself in his trained and skillful hands. Mind you, I didn’t really have a choice, so “bravery” or “courage” probably are not the right words to describe it. But I did it. I faced my fear by trusting in someone else.…
Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.
“Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” Matt. 9:17
“Worship style” definitely gets the prize for being the most troublesome issue dividing churches today. I believe it is troublesome because it hits many of us at a pretty deep level. We each have our preferred “language” for worship, and these worship wars have a way of calling into question the legitimacy of my “language”. I’ve mentioned this in previous posts here and here and here, but our questioning each other’s worship style is a little reminiscent of the money-changers questioning the legitimacy of each person’s sacrifice.
In Jesus’ much-studied conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well (John chapter 4), he is asked a pointed question about the appropriate time and place to worship God. For those of us who are struggling even now with “worship style” issues, this woman’s question is a prime example of a “worship style” question. Jesus’ response, that “a time is coming” when God’s restrictions on time, place and form would no longer be central to worship, seems to me to be a clear signal that an important change was about to happen. Jesus’ remarks in Matthew chapter 9 about “new wine” and “new wineskins” seem to signal the same thing: a profoundly new way of relating to God.
Isn’t that what Pentecost (Acts 2) represented? Wasn’t it the ushering in of an entirely new way of relating to God? Surely, Jesus’ teaching to the woman at the well that God is seeking …