Crashing the Christian Cubbie

9 Oct

“A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” (Prov. 17:27, 28)

spr: May the Loving God of all touch you tenderly, and in so doing, shake your life from its basement to the tip of its chimney. From its rooftop, may you clearly see the special opportunities Jesus is calling you to undertake–in your neighborhood, on the next block, downtown, on the outskirts, in the “bad” part of town, and in the “seats of power.” May you respond to his Invitation eagerly, knowing you are enlightened and emboldened in his Name, and by his Power. Amen.

As I shared yesterday, San Joaquin Presbytery celebrated a wonderful World-wide Communion together. Our worship was inspirational, and we were blessed by the participation of people from across our Presbytery. On the other hand, our “numbers” were down a little compared to last year’s festivities. We came to realize we were competing with a series of other events important to fellow Presbyterians.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that we worshiped God together at a “party” open to everyone. The good news is that–at the same time–we were out in the world, being a presence for Christ in our communities at other events and happenings. The good news is that we were being Jesus’ hands and feet: serving, helping and ministering. The good news is that we were being beacons of Love and Hope in a hurting world. The good news is that we were living The Good News–the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Several years ago, at the West Coast Presbyterian Pastor’s Conference, Fuller Seminary’s Mark Labberton (former pastor at Berkeley First Presbyterian Church) commented that the organization that was the demise of “Wednesday church family nights”, and that forced a restructuring of “church life” for many congregations across America, was…

Youth Soccer.

That caught my attention, being someone who loves soccer, coached AYSO for six years, and co-founded a high school girls’ soccer program. With practices on two weeknights, and weekend games, Mark’s point was clearly made. With two or more children playing, soccer could easily be a five-days-a-week activity. The bad news is families are no longer attending the “old, traditional, mid-week, church family events”. The good news is families are no longer attending the “old, traditional, mid-week, church family events”! The good news is that more and more families are spending time together, and investing time that leads to more time enjoyed together in the future. The good news is that more and more Dads and Moms, daughters and sons, brothers and sisters, are challenged–together–to live lives as Believers out in the world, where Christians are meant to live.

Do you know people who neatly fold and package their “faith walk”, and then stuff it into a ‘cubby’ labeled “for life lived at church”?

I do, too.

But Christ calls us to be open to his Spirit to think out of the box, dream out of the box, pray out of the box, and ‘dare to do’–all out of the curfewed confines of our cute, comfortable cubbies. I encourage us all to break down the walls. Smash the self-imposed, fear-fed restrictions that cripple us.

Christ came to set the captive free!

Remember: walking beside you is the one who loves you with a perfect Love: Jesus.

Tomorrow’s BLOG –“Release the lines! Set Sail!”


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