Originally published Saturday, 06 June 2015.
We are on a constant hunt to find pleasure in all we do.
We are seeking a God that is palatable, tasty and pleasurable. We go to big conferences, with big screens and big pastors. All is good as long as it points to Christ, right?
This makes me wonder.
It makes me wonder whether the fan-fare would be a delight or a fright to Jesus?
We know it is all about his glory for his story.
We know it is all about his name and not our fame.
But, somehow the famous draw us, the powerful captivate us and the big lights lure us.
Is lowly and humble Jesus found against the big lights of Christianity?
Is he found in the lights of the big show or in the shadow of the big Father?
I can't help but think that when we demand church be an experience, we miss the experience that is Jesus. We miss the stillness of a moment where it is just us and him. We miss the quiet heart that says, I don't need all that - I just need you. We miss the convictions of the Holy Spirit at work within us, because we are too focused around us and we can't hear what he is saying to us.
Entertainment becomes an opiate to hide us from reality.
A crutch to keep our anxious minds in motion.
Novocaine to dull our suffering.
But, perhaps suffering is just what God has set forth for us to feel in the moment, because it will move us towards deeper love and faith.
It's not the big lights we need to keep our eyes off of ourselves, but simply the light of Christ to shines truth into the hidden places of our aching hearts.
That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:10)
But, for us entertainment seekers, silence, quietness and stillness of mind scares us. It's uncomfortable.
Instead, we become so focused on what others are saying and doing, that we often miss what God wants us to say or do for another. We expect the producers to make the show good enough for us to consume and when we don't we leave disappointed.
But, did Jesus seek to put on a show to make Christianity glow?
He didn't seek big followers in order to make new followers.
"When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, 'Will you give me a drink?'" (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) (John 4:17)
This woman went alone. She went with her thoughts. She went with a simple bucket, most likely. But, what she got was an encounter with Jesus. Jesus, who stepped away from the other disciples, away from the crowds to meet a woman in a simple way, through simple words, that would simply change her heart forever.
Jesus' approach was simple.
He simply approached man with straightforward truth to let the power of the living Word transform dying hearts.
Jesus knew the Word of the Lord is more than sufficient - and more than capable - to accomplish all it is set forth to accomplish.
He withdrew from the crowds for quiet prayer with his Father. He calls us to do the same - to talk without noise, without pretense and without the show being our idol.
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! (Ps. 150:1-2)
Our call is to praise the Lord, to seek his soul, to seek his face.
Perhaps it doesn't come down to what others do, or what people offer us, or who says what or how many people are at whatever event or the amount of lights, but it comes down to how we enter into church and how we approach the Father.
It comes down to who and what we follow.
It comes down to what we expect, to what we demand and what we seek.
It comes down to: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' (Mt. 22:37) and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' (Mt. 22:39)
It comes down to - it's all about Him.