Sunday Sermonizing: A Little Taste of Both
My friends attend church in the most unexpected place.
They were a part of our church for many years (back in my pastoring days). He's a friend, an elder, a leader. He was a pastor himself, at one time. Through the years, we've had long discussions about spirituality, the theology of gifts, and the Holy Spirit. Back in the 90's, he was a leader in the discussion that went on around worship music in those days.
Today, my friend is attending a small denominational church that primarily sings hymns from the mid-20th Century.
We still attend a church with contemporary songs and little historical understanding of liturgy. I suppose if I wanted a church with the daily office, I should go Anglican. Or Presbyterian. Or Reformed. Or any number of churches with a liturgical tradition.
Instead, I attend a church with an evangelical tradition, if I use the word "tradition" ever so lightly. We have screens and guitars, which I do, frankly, get tired of.
It wasn't always this way. I, too, was on the front edge of the contemporary music movement. I thought this was the way churches should be now.
And I still do, at least to a certain extent. Churches should seek to communicate in colloquial language. Yet, one of the most powerful moments I've had in a Church service for a long time had to do with liturgy. Not a song. In a Presbyterian church, of all places.
I'm not changing churches. In spite of my guitar/PowerPoint weariness.
What I am changing is my own attitude about church.
It's messed up. Church is messed up. There is hypocrisy in our midst. No question. But the real question is:
How do we represent Jesus in the insane whirlwind of this world?
The world is black and white and gray. The church must learn to navigate those waters. Gray is becoming more and more a part of the every day.
We must learn to navigate these waters well.
Because, whether I like it or not, I belong to the church. I can't separate myself from either the glory of the church nor the sinfulness of the church.
On this side, it will always be a little taste of both.