Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

All about "me"

“I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance”
― E.E. Cummings

Someone once posited a question
Can we ever do anything that is essentially selfless

Tough question

There are of course those moments when it is clearly
“all about me”

When I am striving, seeking, grasping
Looking for power, or wealth or, perhaps, affection, romance
Even love

But even when I think I am serving others….
Am I really?
Or am I doing it so I will look good, feel good, feel more worthy?
Am I doing it because it will earn me “points” with God?

I think this is one of the big problems with the church
We have moved from being a people for others,
To being people are fundamentally focused on us?

When we reach out
When we welcome people into our midst
When we do so much of what we do, to grow the church
Is it not really, to a great degree, about us?

“Hey look at us! We are growing!
We have young families!  We have a new building!
We are the spiritual hot commodity!”

I know we think we are doing it for God,
But I wonder
And I wonder if this is not why we struggle with inclusion
Why we struggle with the poor, the wounded, the addicted, the messed up

Because there is far less satisfaction in staying with the guy who shows up at worship drunk
Then in flaunting the person in successful recovery

Rachel Held Evans has it right in her book, “Searching for Sunday”.  She writes: So many “people fit right into church until… the divorce, the diagnosis, the miscarriage, the depression, someone comes out, someone asks a question, an uncomfortable truth is spoken out loud. And what they find is when they bring their pain or their doubt or their uncomfortable truth to church, someone immediately grabs it out of their hands to try to fix it, to try to make it go away. Bible verses are quoted. Assurances are given. Plans with ten steps and measurable results are made. With good intentions tinged with fear, Christians scour their inventory for a cure.

We must cure them, and way too much of the reason is, well

I do believe that we have good hearts (bless our souls)
I do believe we want others to find peace, and joy, and wholeness
I just fear that all too often,

the “me” gets in the way
and we buy into a faith that is about us
and our individual salvation, and our blessing

the “me” gets in the way
and we find it difficult to stick with people whose response to our efforts
is “disappointing” to say the least.

Thanks God for those moments
When we are confident enough in God’s love
And grace
And blessing

To get past ourselves
And make it
All about

“him” or “her”
yes, that person right over there!

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