For a long time, I was under the naive impression that the 20 or 30 minute “show” that I saw on Sunday mornings was considered “worship” (or even deeper—”praise & worship”). I also didn’t consider all forms of art as equal. Somehow music became “the way” to a “worship experience” with God, not “a way.” For the majority of my life, I didn’t understand the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The temple, the High Priest, the Holy Of Holies—these were unknown terms to me. Somehow the “church” had failed to explain these basics. I had no comprehension of the Old Testament no desire to read it. It had become something that happened, with some good stories, but not something worth spending time on. For some reason, after almost 20 years of being “churched,” I still didn’t understand why Jesus came.
At some point, some ideas started out as cool things to do, but became the only way to do them. Churches became focused on the “presence” of the Holy Spirit, forgetting that the same Spirit is with us wherever we go. People went from Sunday to Sunday (service to service) expecting a spiritual high. I can’t become God and see that far back, to when these traditions began, and I can’t see the heart behind them. At that time, I am almost positive it was all about Jesus. Something changed. Man is not God, and a spiritual high that comes from a musical performance is not one of the spiritual gifts (which may ridiculously come as a surprise to many). There are serious side effects to focusing on an “experience” and not a relationship. What if a marriage’s focus was only on the sexual climax?
Can we put aside the box that man has created and think of new ways to incorporate all forms of art into our truth-seeking community gathering (on whichever day or at whichever place that we have our gathering)? Even more than that, can we expand on those ideas and let them come to life every day? Or, are we so bent on tradition that we won’t allow our minds to be renewed to the mind of Christ? We are referring to the same Christ who went postal in the temple, who said things (which still seem lunatic, apart from God) to others knowing they would reject him, and took that rejection to the point of execution.
We have made a lifetime commitment. The narrow path is definitely not the easy path. Compartmentalizing the extent of God totally takes Him out of the picture. I have never read about Jesus spending time singing songs with a band, trying to get people pumped up, giving them an almost orgy-like experience, then leaving them hanging for the rest of the week—and doing it all over again week after week. We are on a day-by-day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute (you get the point) journey with our Creator. Jesus didn’t call us to a once-a-week event. Doing everything to glorify God cannot be limited to a box of what our human minds perceive as sacred. Wherever we are—at our jobs, at our homes, in our cars, at the grocery store or the post office—we are there to thank God and allow Him to form us into the image of Christ.
A band took on the name Seven Day Jesus a few years ago. Is that a good description of our lives? Or, have we become “Sunday Christians”? Are we spending the entire week forgetting about the One who we claim to be like, and then suddenly entering into His presence at a certain time and a certain place? If we sing songs, raise our hands, etc., are those things only a part of our “church alter ego”? Did Jesus not fulfill the Old Covenant, and come to create a new one? Are we still living in that old way? Jesus said a time would come when we would worship in spirit and in truth—not one extreme or the other. God wants that from us. Can we relay this basic message to the current and upcoming generations? We have the choice—to continue on the way we are, or to relearn (to a larger extent—unlearn) about our Savior that we profess. If, after that happens, we decide to keep doing what we are doing, JESUS PLUS NOTHING must remain the full gospel of God—or damn us all (read the letter to the Galatians).
Is our God as shallow as we usually are?
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