Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Possible Answer

A football game has the power to excite us because, among other things, we know its a real experience.  The presence of God in church doesn't appear as real to us and therefore doesn't cause us to react with the same kind of emotional exuberance. Church is also a time of quiet prayer and meditation, but shouldn't it sometimes cause us to erupt in spontaneous excitement to realize that we are in the presence of the living God? (I don't mean polite applause at the end of a worship song). The question is Why doesn't it? And why do I know so many people who claim to be dissatisfied with their church experience? It's no wonder Church is losing its appeal for so much of the younger generation. I think I may have part of an answer.

We've been taught since we were children that God is somewhere "up" in heaven. Our being "down here" necessitates a belief that we are apart from him - a belief more powerful than our belief that his spirit lives in us. How else do you explain why we look up to the sky and lift our hands to worship him? Think about it. If we really believed he lives in us why would we sing "Come holy spirit" and "Lord I will wait for you"? And think about this too. If God is spirit and that spirit lives in us, then what part of him is elsewhere? Jesus said the kingdom of God is in us. God is manifesting himself through us. We can't possibly be separate from him. The reality of that hasn't really dawned on us and it certainly isn't expressed sufficiently in church. If it was it might even be as exciting as the Super Bowl.

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