WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?
It seems like 100 years ago that I was driving North on the Deerfoot Trail in Calgary. I don’t remember where I was going or why I was on the road. I only remember a feeling of silence.
Then out of no where a song came to mind. I don’t remember which song it was. I just remember that I started to sing. It was a song about Jesus.
Call to Worship: A prayer: Lord God there is a lot of controversy about Jesus today. There was way back then as well. Some want to remove the use of his name. Some want to qualify how his name can be used. As I read the Biblical text I am moved by a constant reference beyond Jesus to knowing God. Somehow within my spirit this connection always happens. Today Lord lead us in worship, lead us with a sense of peace as we once again turn to you.
Last week I mentioned being in San Antonio. While there a worship experience became special as a homeless man sat at the piano and began to play. Each of the songs were well known to me. He played, “It is well with My Soul.”
The controversy seems to be getting stronger each day. When you think of God do you think of Jesus? Do you flinch wanting to shy away from the controversy? It seems that may have happened in the early church. Religious leaders often get caught in the traditions, in the ways that ultimately add meaning to some but lose meaning to others. Dealing with the controversy in religious circles is not easy and is often not friendly. We now have churches for older people and churches for for younger people. We now have churches for prescribed liturgy and churches based on being “seeker friendly.”
The Psalmist turns to personal testimony to speak of God. Judith McAllister leads a congregation in this understanding as well. Notice however how her praise incorporates awareness of Jesus as Jesus becomes a living revelation of the intentions of God.
Once again history intermingles an awareness of God with the work of Jesus. For the Church the work of God focuses itself on the activity of Jesus, from His birth, to His formative years, to His years of ministry to the reality of the death, burial and resurrection. Interesting, while the machinery of worship keeps changing, the message still reveals God through an awareness of Jesus. One of my favorite understandings about Jesus is the task of the church to be like Jesus. The chain of command is revealed, God, Jesus, then as John says in Revelation 1:6 and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. There is a culminating conclusion that jumps over the controversy. It is the understanding that God is a loving God, that God dares to reach into history in the person of Jesus and now separates a people unto a task, the task of being a KINGDOM of servants a KINGDOM of priests.
I find a great comfort in this. In all my years my personal history solidifies in a consistent pattern. As I seek to know God I find myself being drawn into a closer walk with Jesus. In my travels in the United States and Canada, it has been one of the great blessings to look beyond the legalities and of forms of worship and ministry to discover how the spirit of the people has been touched by God.
However you choose to express your worship, I simply trust that to worship God will ultimately lead you through the steps of Jesus.
Benediction: Have a good week, have a good walk, have a meaningful experience as in your moments of silence you discover Jesus leading you to the richness of God.
Enjoy the words of this music as your memory allows you to sing along.