Sunday, December 02, 2007

More on Worship

Saying for the day-John 10:10 (New King James Version) 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Sometimes things that seem obvious aren’t. This is particularly true when one uses secular analogies to illustrate religious ideas.

Last week Practical Chick responded to my blog entry on there being many kinds of worship in which we meet God by saying-
My point is - if you are falling asleep in church...and the President or a rock star walked many would be on their feet clapping and whoo hooing and reaching out or toward that person with their hands?

Now that sounds reasonable doesn’t it. But suppose you spent the entire week with the President, who watched what you did, gave you some help, and was there for you. Are you on Sunday going to get all excited because he walks in . Probably not. Instead because you have been too busy to listen well all week you might take this time to really listen to hear the President’s still small voice. Of course if you are screaming and whoo hooing you can’t hear it and you miss what he has for you.

Does this show that Lutheran worship is better than Pentecostal ? Of course not. Why? Because God is not the President, or a Rock Star, or even a great Sports Figure. And Worship is not a political rally, a rock concert, or a Basketball game. So comparisons to the everyday world just don’t hold.

The truth is we end up attending a Church were we feel close to God. For some that requires excitement for others silence. There is no one right way to worship. What is important is that we worship. There is no dead church. I have worshipped in Orthodox, Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist. Moravian, Pentecostal, and some with no name and I have never been in a dead church.

There are spiritually dead people in every church. If they come alive in some other church then instead of seeing that they were the dead one they decide the former church was. They proclaim a fractured gospel which in effect says “ My church is more alive than yours” or even worse “ Your church is dead but mine is alive”. In this age when the faith is under open attack from all sides we can not afford the luxury of attacking or demeaning each other.

The good news is that the Son has come to give us all life. If the Son makes you alive you are alive indeed.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. This afternoon the people of Pigeon Falls are invited to the annual blessing of the manger. Pastor Joan will pray that the manger scene will be a blessing to the community and then the Methodist Pastor will lead a hymn sing. This year because the town’s trouble with the ACLU has made the National news there will be a Television news team here to record the event. That should give the ACLU plenty of ammunition the next time they go to court. A prayer service and a hymn sing on the town square what could be a worse breach of the wall of separation between Church and State.

The TV crew arrived this morning in their own truck. They had a rough ride as the road to Pigeon Falls is not in great shape. But they came with three video cameras, the ability to do a live feed back to the studio in New York, and plenty of video tape. Mrs. Trumble arrived and told them they needed a permit to park the truck on the main street for the purpose of filming. That cost them a couple of hundred dollars.

While they are here they are listening to dragon stories and are hoping the dragon will show up so they can get some film of it. Imagine the Pigeon Falls dragon on national television. Of course they can’t get a picture of the poltergeist but they could experience it.

Today's Link- Rend the Heavens- Some really neat things here in Saturday's entry.
You never know what a day will bring. We got a foot of snow last night. It was heavy snow mixed with water. But that we thought was ok because we had the snow blower. Well Penny went to take out the snow blower and discovered one tire had fallen apart. None of us can shovel very well. By the time I got a hold of a handyman who came and plowed us out church was over. Now in the old days that little bit of snow wouldn't have kept us from church. I have driven through far worse but I don't drive any more and Betty is super cautious . She was afraid the bit of rain we had would turn to ice. So we missed the fellowship. Not that I have to go to church to worship but I need the strength that comes from all of us together. I need to hear the Word read and sung. In the afternoon we put up the Christmas tree. We picked it up after Christmas last year and it is only 4 1/2 feet tall. We put it on a table in the living room with the fantasy train around it. It looks pretty good. The other good thing is the dog is really afraid of the train. When you run it the dog hides. It was too dark to take good movies tonight so we will try to do that tomorrow and get some pictures to the blog by Tuesday. Now I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger Stacy said...

That is what my old pastor used to say and I believe it is basically true, but at the same time, I think there are churches that might not be dying, but are ill.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

I agree with Stacy. And, there might be as many ways to worship as there are possible definitions for the word "burple"...

6:51 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

You know, when I wake up in the morning - before my eyes are even open, things wouldn't seem so Pentecostal to most people.

Yet, I hear the birds singing outside of my window. I hear the flapping of two basset hound's ears as they shake their sleepies off.

I feel the warm ray of sunshine by my foot as it streams in the window to tickle my toes. I also feel the warmth of a kitten, purring between me and my loving - yet snoring husband.

Off in another room I hear the voice of an angel, my daughter - as she plays alone awaiting for one of us to wake up also.

They say Angels rejoice when each of us wake up in the morning, and in this I have no doubt. And in turn when in church - any church...

Whether laid back, quiet or jamming - I rejoice. I praise and give thanks.

After all, it doesn't matter how much noise you are making - what matters is who is listening. =O)

7:33 AM  
Anonymous quilly said...

Church! I dear, I am going to be late!

10:39 AM  
Blogger Gardenwife said...

Margaret...Wow. Your eloquent comment really blessed me!

11:22 AM  
Blogger Catch said...

I love Margarets comment!! It is beautiful and so correct! Good post Dr John!!! Well done!

2:42 PM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Amazing really, the different reasons people go to church
and the reasons why people go to a football game or other sports event

But then again no one would ask which might be god's favourite game: american football or soccer, cricket or baseball, perhaps it is basketball.

There is discord in every church, there is discord among the many churches, and there is discord among the many faiths. And the only thing most atheists have in common is their atheism.

In our quest for individuality, we later seek comfort from those of like-mind, to reinforce our need to feel we are right or on the right track, but often we are only like-minded about what we dislike or ridicule about others.

The human race is one big family with many trades. When one is looking for a plumber one wants one who can sort out the 'leak' (preferably promptly and not charge us too much) and we are not necessarily concerned whether they are registered with one institute over another and whether they are qualified in one college/university or another, though of course who they work for may affect how much they charge, the standard & quality of the job, and whether the job is guaranteed.

But every firm gas good and bad employees, and every tradesman or employee has good or bad days. The same for any trade in the building & construction industry.

Oops I've just realized I'm using a secular analogy to illustrate religious ideas - and really the only thing that matters is not so much whether they believe in god or not, or which god or gods they believe in, but the quality of the work and how much they charge.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Janvangogh said...

TV crew is there. ALCU's big mistake. Once the rest of the world hears about it, they will back Pigeon Falls.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Chris Davis said...

Hey thanks for including my link in your post today!

Be blessed.
Rend the Heavens

6:19 PM  

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