Wednesday, November 10, 2010

1 X 1

Church Redefined from Granger Community Church on Vimeo.

For some it is stained glass beauty,
white steeples on high hills nostalgia,
wooden pews of childhood
where our Patten leather shoes dangled below
as the sermons flew above our heads,
the artistry of the Cathedrals of Europe,
a tourist attraction for snapshots
in photo albums we never open again,
for others, it carries some outdated mystery
behind bright red doors that are locked,
with only a privileged few holding the keys,
a place to waste time on false hope once a week,
outdated, old-fashioned, and boring,
a boxed-in sea of judgmental glares
gossip disguised as prayer requests
a building with a list of don’ts
mandates to be good,
be nice,
and be quiet.
In the beginning
it was the picture of a lush garden stroll
in the cool of the day
Hushed tones of worship conversation
A relationship, whole and pure,
Teeter totter listening and laughter
Sunsets dancing on our faces
through the canopy of leaves overhead
Until we took a bite of temptation and pushed You away.
We followed Your fire at night and cloud in the day
And set up a draping tabernacle,
flapping its greeting in the desert breeze
A whispered invitation to enter and worship.
Then Solomon’s temple,
rich with ornate beauty,
exclusive Holy of Holies few dared to enter
Until…an unexpected twist.
The true temple came
in a baby born in a stable
When you, once again, chose to walk
with Your friends in the cool of the day
Church on the move once more,
as You loved them
A woman by a well,
two men in a boat,
12 around a table,
From a hillside gathering in the thousands,
To the upper room where You knelt to wash their feet,
Church redefined in the body of a Godman,
The temple veil torn in Your last breath,
another invitation as the torch was passed,
The temple is in
We are the temple.
as close as our hearts and as big as the worlds we live in.
It’s not a building we come to on Sundays.
Church is wherever we are.
A school cafeteria,
an office break room,
a check-out line,
a soccer field sideline,
a restaurant booth,
a hospital bed,
a movie theater,
a living room,
a back yard,
a sidewalk stroll
Church is wherever we are,
wherever we love them
an invitation, not to a building,
but to a relationship.
You didn’t keep inviting us to visit You in heaven,
You came down to us.
To walk with us.
To live among us.
Face to face.
Hand in hand.
Side by side.
We’ve been asking the wrong questions….
Church is not a what,
or even a where.
is a who.
They may refuse to come to meet You.
But we will bring You to them,
wherever and whenever we choose to love them
like You taught us.
Face to face.
Hand in hand.
Side by side.

"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12: 10-12

"The greatest need for our time in for the Church to become what it has seldom been: the body of Christ with its face to the world, loving others regardless of religion or culture, pouring itself out in a life of service, offering hope to a frightened world, and presenting itself as a real alternative to the existing arrangement." Brennan Manning, "The Signature of Jesus"