I admit it – I’m spoiled. I’ve very rarely had to go without something that I wanted, even for a short time. I know that’s not a good thing, especially with how much need there is in the world.
After all we’ve been through, I find myself almost intolerant of the everyday church members who seem to have an attitude of “I want it my way.” Why do you have the right to having your way in church? What have you done to reach out to others? What makes you so special? Oh, you’ve been a long-time member of this church? So what? Being a church member doesn’t mean you get special treatment in heaven, so why do you think you should have it here? Ok, enough ranting. But to me, if we’re not thinking about those who don’t already know the Gospel, then what is the point?
I agree, people in the pews need to be fed, but why do they need to be fed? In order to go out and tell the Good News to others. If they just want to be fed to feel good, then we’re just enabling their laziness. We’re spoiling the people sitting in the pews.
Trust me, I have plenty of things I’d prefer to see in worship and Bible study. But I’ve had to learn to let those things go for the sake of others. Truthfully, my ideal in worship would be to experience something new or special every week. One of the greatest weeks of my life was when I went for my residency at the beginning of my DCE training (online). We had a week on campus as a group, living together in the dorms, sitting in class together, spending every evening focused on devotions and worship. Each night was something different, and it was all special and unique. Holden Evening Prayer, Taize, Lectio Divina… All of these have been used around the world by various communities, some for centuries. And it was the first time I experienced any of it. I used to love participating in some of the special prayer services in school, dorm devotions, praise worship, you name it. Most of all, I love it when I can sing something beautiful. It’s all I can do to not annoy my fellow passengers on a plane, singing along to the music playing through my headphones.
Again, it’s about meeting the needs of others. Listening to me sing is not what the other passengers need at that point in time. So I try to just listen. And instead of grumbling, I remember that I have the privilege of surrounding myself with that beautiful music in my own little cocoon for a little while (at least until we start to land and they make me turn it off). The point of all of it is to prepare me to reach others with the Gospel. It’s something I’m not always very good at, but I know I do well when I can teach others about sharing their faith. Go figure.
That week of residency was FANTASTIC. A big part of that was meeting you and our other colloquy members. A bigger part was that community. I still look very fondly at that week, even as I wait too for whatever is coming next. I’ve been part time for 3 years now and I am ready for whatever that is…maybe being in the same congregation for upwards of 15 years (give or take a year or two doing something else) has been incubating time…kinda like a caterpillar (or a cicada, these nasty bugs we have here that make a dreadful noise every 7 summers). Do you think the Word can be like that? With some people it is like the butterfly that is ready to come out and share the Gospel with vivid color. With others, the cicada is chirping inside and people are trying to ignore it…might be the laziness, might be that the time is still not right. They tend to just speak to gripe and complain about all the problems that they are unwilling to help with.
Sorry, random thoughts. Anyway, I am thinking about you and praying for you and waiting myself. Something is going to happen for us too, and soon. It would be great to get together and share some prayers, songs and worship time. I pray we will get that together time sooner rather than later.