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Adapting House Church

December 8, 2008 Leave a comment

Gene Edwards once wrote that every church shouldn’t look the same, but that each local gathering should discover their form together. Mike Morrell posts an interesting blog about discovering church in the home and how the journey led them into an openness to liturgy and other ancient church elements. I think he rightly describes this adventure in church as a journey. And if we’re open, God may lead through some fascinating places and relationships along the way.

Categories: church Tags: ,

A Voice in the Desert

December 8, 2008 Leave a comment

What happened to Messiah?

The desert has a way of making even the shiniest vision seem dull.

Waiting. Day after day.
Watching. Day after day.
Longing. Day after day.

Maybe Messiah won’t come after all. Maybe healing waters won’t flow from Zion to all nations. Maybe peace and joy and hope are just words. Maybe it was just a lot of hot air. There’s plenty of hot air here in the desert.

Sort of like mirages.

Weary travelers suddenly run forward certain they’ve arrived at a place of renewal. Only to collapse into the life-sucking sand.

The death-like power of desert struggles cannot be compared to the dramatic destruction of war. Screaming, fighting and falling. No it isn’t like that at all. We sort of fade like an old rug left out in the hot sun year after year after year.

It’s the sun but it’s also the sand. Sooner or later the desert just gets to you. Sand and sun wear everyone down like an old building returning to dust. We’re walking around, but really we’re just dust. And when we die. We fade and blow away. Forgotten.

One day I realized that everything had changed. I was still alive but I no longer felt alive. My parents and their parents and their parents had been waiting century after century after century for a king. This messiah was supposed to make everything all right. When he came, God would return to us.

I guess he forgot to come.

At some point, I just quit expecting. I didn’t have any more dreams. I just existed, surviving from one day to the next, stumbling on some new titillation, some new distraction, some sensation that reminded me my heart was still beating.

That’s where I was when I heard the voice. The distressing alarm arrested my attention. He cried out like the desert was on fire. Maybe it was.

He certainly seemed to be on fire. Burning. Like the bush that set Moses aflame.

I edged closer to catch just a glimpse. His eyes met my eyes and I heard him thunder, “Repent.” Suddenly I was on the ground grieving, crying and even shrieking over my vacuous existence. I wept for my lack of faith. I cried out for my anger and bitterness and resentment against a God who seemed to mock me even more with each passing day. I moaned and grieved so deeply it felt like something in me was dying.

Then suddenly John grabbed me and plunged me into the river as though I was being buried in a watery grave. When I came up out of the water, the world had changed, the desert had changed. It was no longer an ending but a beginning. Everything, everyone around me seemed ready to burst forth in a blaze of light.

In this new world, anything could happen. And then I knew for certain,

Messiah is almost here.

Categories: Advent Tags: , ,
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