Archives for: June 2009, 28
I often write introductions to songs we sing at worship. I try to link the music to the weekly message. Our first service is traditional, and a wonderful lady delivers the introduction to the prelude. Our second service is contemporary, and we sing several songs at the beginning. Another singer and I alternate the introductions. Soft keyboard music plays in the background. As the introduction ends, the song, usually Christian Rock begins.
This morning we have a guest speaker during both worship services. She speaks about the Sabbath, and so I have done a little research in preparation. I was struck by a quote attributed to Karen Burton Mains (pdf):
Some of us come from backgrounds where a restrictive, narrow, confining legalism squeezed the life, the holy life, out of the Lord’s Day…. My prayer for you is that you will not discard Sunday, but that you will instead discard the old negative legalism in order to rediscover the delight of which the prophets speak. My prayer for you is that you will suddenly confront the truth that Sunday can be the best of all times, a celebration of the Christ who is in the midst of us.
Our guest has written movingly about loss, and so I spent much of yesterday wondering how to integrate the beauty of her words with what I anticipate her message to be, and a song entitled Friend of God. I admire the singer who will perform the introduction and I especially want her to say this:
When life becomes an ocean of pain,
and we feel our faith wither and die,
the Sabbath becomes a time
we can let others take over, let them believe in our place -
until we are healed enough,
to come to a wisdom no one else can know
and we find a path back to our oldest friend
The legalisms and anti-science superstition that often come to us disguised as faith have had a concussive impact on the house of God. Worst of all is the tribalism, the sneering at those who do not embrace the same narrow views, the same hatreds. It is repellent to many who have reacted against what they have come to think of as Christianity. And it can be discouraging to those of us who seek a more meaningful journey of faith.
But I see changes: a comeback of genuine fellowship, a resurgence of faith, a return of spirit. I look forward to hearing from our guest.
The unknown American Holocaust of the early 1990s:
Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media, and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history.
- - Pat Robertson, interview with Molly Ivins, 1993