Tag Archives: church

“We Are The Hope”

On Sunday, we sang Rend Collective Experiment’s “Build Your Kingdom Here” at church. It’s a fun song to sing, with some really good lyrics. Here it is, in case you’re not familiar with it. (And no, our worship team didn’t perform it precisely the same way as RCE did. Apparently nitpicky things like “fire codes” and “potential for bodily injury” take precedence over artistic expression and creativity at my church. It’s sad, really.)

While there are a lot of good lines in the song, what’s been resonating with me are the last lines of the final verse:

“We are Your Church,

We are the hope on earth.”

The church … is God’s representation of hope on this earth?

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Making Music Together

Last year a baby grand piano was installed for a special performance of a piece by Beethoven. Andy Jackson of the Cobwebs orchestra was the featured pianist. Playing with him were … well, various people who happened to be in the Haymarket bus station at the time. You can read more about the performance in the video description.

Sometimes life in the Kingdom of God feels like this. God is making music, and we are asked to join in with the song He is singing over creation (Zephaniah 3:17, among others). Not only are we joining in His song, we are also coming together as part of the Church. Sometimes that can be beautiful. And sometimes it can be awkward.

Are you giving grace to others? That is music to God’s ears.

Are you helping the poor? That’s one of His favorite songs.

Are you consoling the hurting? That’s a theme that runs through all His favorite symphonies.

As we go through life trying to serve, to help, to give, we’re joining in the song that God is writing, directing, performing.

Sometimes in the church the song is obscured by petty arguments–or large ones. Sometimes jealousies creep in. Sometimes sin mars the song, jarring the notes.

But when we come together with the purpose of knowing God, of showing Him to the world, of being part of His concert rather than wanting to be a solo act … that is when music is made that can impact the world.

The music that we make together may have hesitations, awkward pauses, wrong notes; but it is in the togetherness, as we join in with God’s song, that the music thrives.

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What Does Love Look Like?

For several weeks now, I’ve been tucked away at home, tethered by a knee injury. The orthopedist could do nothing as yet. When I’d gone to see him, the knee was inflamed, so much so that even a cortisone shot couldn’t be given. His directions?

Don’t walk.

So for the past six weeks, I’ve kept walking to a bare minimum. I spend most of my time at home. And I’ve done an unwillingly close study to answer one question: What does love look like?  As Christians, we often talk about loving others, about reaching out to them, caring for them. But what does that look like? Here are a few of my findings.

Love looks like cards and phone calls from friends, just to say “I was thinking of you.”

Love looks like a hug at church.

It looks like my younger son when he brought me the elements of Communion since I couldn’t walk all the way up the aisle at church.

It looks like the couple who invited Roger and I to dinner, and ate outside on their new patio so I didn’t have to walk up the stairs to get to their apartment.

Love looks like the friends from my Bible study group–which I haven’t been able to attend–who came and shared lunch with me after group. And it looks like my older son, who baked brownies for us.

It looks like emails and texts, sometimes from friends I only know online.

Love looks like the couple who surprised us by dropping by with homemade chicken pot pie–the most delicious ever.

Love looks like my husband, who has been taking care of the household–and like our two sons, who have been helping him.

It looks like the friends who pray for me.

Love looks like the friends who offered to come help with household tasks, to bring a guitar for a time of praise, or just to visit.

And it looks like my husband when he kidnapped me for a day, took me to a mall, and made us both laugh as he pushed–careened–me in a wheelchair for the afternoon.

When we think of showing God’s love, we often think of the big things, the grand gestures; and God’s love is seen in these: digging wells for people in Africa, helping children in Haiti, establishing schools and orphanages and hospitals all over the world, wherever they’re needed. All of these are things we should be doing.

But it’s also important to show love in smaller ways. You never know when your actions will keep someone from feeling despair or desperation or, as in my case, isolation.

Especially if you can make a good pot pie.

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Just Wondering …

What would your church look like if everyone there prayed like you do?

What if everyone served like you?

Worshiped with as much abandon of self as you?

What if everyone at your church gave as generously as you?

What would your church look like? What kind of difference would it make?

None of us is called to sit back, relax and get comfortable. We’re all called to minister, to serve, to give. And the truth is that we can each make a difference.

But there’s one thing even more important than the rest of the doing of the Christian life, one thing that encompasses all the rest. If we excel at this one thing, everything else will follow as we pursue Christ. What is that one thing? Well …

What if everyone in your church loved like you do?

What would the world look like?

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