A little inspiration for your Sunday. Watch the video, skip the reading.
Traditional church and I have a tenuous relationship.
They have been good to me in every way. I’ve not been hurt by church. But the Sunday “worship”, “Sit down and watch the stage thing” because I supposedly, “Can’t survive without this gathering”, the gathering that is at this time, and in that way.
Personally, generally, I have always been most soul enriched and spiritually grown by things taking place outside that Sunday gathering.
It never worked for me, even when I was a church minister. That sit and soak structure chokes fellowship, stops dialogue and conversation, and it assumes that we have relegated our spiritual study to a professional who studies on our behalf, and we come and download it for twenty minutes each week.
I think that most people who have not relegated their spiritual growth and study to another feel the same way I do. Sunday church is nice, but it is not the be all and end all for those of us who serve, and study at home, all the time. Our faith walk with Jesus Christ has so little to do with what happens on Sunday, when it is happening seven days a week. For those who have Sunday as their only time in the word, I understand it is critical you be there to learn and interact over these things that day. I get it.
However, I confess something about communion, the Lord’s Supper. I do prefer communion in either of two places; Either in the forest on some tree stump far from a well worn path, or in a church gathering with as large a mass of people as possible. Why is this?
“For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.” 1 Corinthians 11:29
Because of the need to discern the body. The context of this passage can go either way:
- Discern the body of Jesus, or, 2. Discern the body of Christ (meaning the united church of Jesus Christ we are part of – the fellow believing people we are made into a family with, all over the world, and in this local place.). And I have seen people get livid over even the suggestion of this possibility. But I know Greek translation, and am familiar with the Greek text.
1. I best “Discern The Body” (of Jesus on the Cross) while taking communion in the forest. The body of Jesus who was crucified on the cross, shed his blood, and rose again. Nature provides the best backdrop to reflect on him. But this context of taking the Lord’s Supper has a weakness for me as well.
2. I best “Discern The Body” (Church of Christ) while taking communion in a Huge gathering of fellow Jesus followers. It is easy to remember my unity with, and accountability for actions toward (Both in word and deed) the family of Jesus followers formed into the “Ekklesia”, church of Jesus Christ. I take communion in a church gathering being readily reminded that this is my tribe, this is my family, and we have the same Jesus, the same goal and purpose. All i have to do is open my eyes and look around at the people. People with the same Jesus as Lord of their lives. Admittedly, it is very challenging to reflect on this reality, out of the crowd, on a tree stump with one, two or three, far from the larger body. However, the truth is that even a local church has a problem here. We are not united with only the people where we sit on Sunday, we are united with the body of all believers in this community (In our church or others), city, region, country, and other nations of the world. And at times we forget the body of Christ in this town is bigger than my one local church I attend. When I sit here weekly I am cut off from those who sit over there 1/2 mile down the road. So local churches really do cut us off from being with the broader church at large in the area.
But I have an old church choir in my soul. But even better, by his Spirit, I have Jesus in my soul all the time, everywhere.
What I love about this video is that it reflects the life of every day people. Jesus is in our soul as we wash those dishes, sit at our work desk, and dance with our kids. Not only as we sing in the choir Sunday morning at church.
How is your walk going? What do you have floating around in your soul these days? Drop me a note and share your story. I’d Love to hear it.