Sunday, May 07, 2006

Oasis or Promised Land?

I have been feeling lately like something big is on the horizon. Will it include me quitting my job to take on more responsibilities elsewhere? Will it include me jumping out of my comfort zone once again? I almost feel like God has seen us be faithful in making MAJOR moves out of our comfort zone that he wants to test us further. "Well, they listened there, let's see if they'll still listen if I throw this at them?" I do believe that as you get closer to God, the challenges get tougher and tougher, but the blessings are SO MUCH MORE!

I was sitting in church last night listening to our pastor preach. He spoke of being bewitched. Yes, I said bewitched. He talked about how churches argue of the DUMBEST things and really just lose the focus of what Christ is all about and what our job as the church really is. We often find churches holding elders meetings that last HOURS to discuss the renovation of the bathroom. He discussed an elders meeting he attended where they complained because someone moved the communion table. He then asked the elder to show him in the Bible where it says for the communion table to be placed...hmm...can't find it? Guess it doesn't matter...

We often get tied up on the fact that, well, my great-great-grandfather's uncle's mom died and that communion table was donated in her name, so it needs to be in front of the sanctuary. Sigh...some churches believe that the communion table, pulpit, and deacon chairs need to form a cross otherwise it's not church. Does that mean that Christians who meet in underground churches in China to worship God in a country where He's forbidden, AREN'T a CHURCH!?!?!?

C'mon people.

Legalism, denominationalism, whatever you want to call it. WHO CARES!?!?!? Not God. God wants our hearts not our possessions, not our pews, not our communion tables...He wants to commune with US!! He doesn't care how that comes about.

I personally LOVE communion. It is one of my FAVORITE times during a worship service. Last night we had it really early on in the service, next weekend it will be very different. Our church focuses on keeping it new and interesting so we don't lose the meaning in forming a habit. They showed clips of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. CS Lewis meant for this book to be read to children and for them to come to a knowledge of Jesus without realizing it. How simple.

Sorry, got off topic...the reason for my posting...

We have dealt with many churches as was discribed above. Some so traditional that they didn't sing Awesome God. Some so contemporary you didn't know ANY songs, some who just plain HATED contemporary music and really just hated church all around, but came because it's what you do on Sunday morning...sigh...After the latter church my husband and I pretty much swore off paid ministry. We were burnt out. Then God brought us to the church we're at now. We're not on the paid ministry. We just minister on a volunteer basis. Is this our oasis? Or is this our promised land.

Is this where God has brought us to fill us and teach us and motivate us to minister again? I have never felt more nourished by a church as I have from here. At this point, I couldn't imagine leaving it or going anywhere else. This is why I hope this church is our Promised Land. Can we just stay here and do what we're doing? Don't know. I never claim to know God's thinking. I just know that when He calls us we'll be here.

My husband has been offered a couple of different ministries since we moved back here from some pretty nice churches, but we're not ready. We're not filled. We just keep soaking it in waiting for God's answer as to whether this is our Oasis or our promised land...

5 comments:

Becky said...

Great post Stephanie - lots of good things to think on. It sounds like an exciting time for you and your family!! Go God!!

Think Pink Dana said...

well HERE is the thing--i am mad at you for making birthday heresy while i was out of town BUT
i forbid you to leave TCC

the end

Windy Cobourne said...

Really good post Steph! The communion table thing made me laugh because I've been in a church before where that's actually happened. haha. "Sacred"....whatever. You should listen to Todd Agnew's song, "My Jesus" IT'S AMAZING! And talks a lot about the topis of your post.

Windy Cobourne said...

Really good post Steph! The communion table thing made me laugh because I've been in a church before where that's actually happened. haha. "Sacred"....whatever. You should listen to Todd Agnew's song, "My Jesus" IT'S AMAZING! And talks a lot about the topis of your post.

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