Zechariah 4:6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
Sometimes I get discouraged by what’s happening with the Church in our society. We seem to have this casual approach to God that is now turning into a disdain for God’s Word. People come and go to their churches as they please to the extent that Christian worship has now become a leisure pursuit instead of a regular spiritual commitment. There’s no longer a thirsting for the scriptures or a hunger for what God is saying to us. We can pick and choose what we like from the Bible and discard what we disapprove. Instead of being kept sacred and regarded as holy, we treat God’s Word as if it has a sell by date and throw it away because it is irrelevant to our personal needs.
And then just when I’m feeling sorry for myself and the Church, I receive an email from a church member whose family is on a teaching mission trip to Christians in Nepal. Here’s what one of them has written:
Monday (1st day of the conference) was busy and wonderful. I don’t think anyone counted actual numbers in attendance, but the room was pretty full. Many who were coming were delayed—one broken-down bus accounted for 15 late-comers. They arrived last night or early this morning. The church is simple and rustic—that is code for primitive and with holes in the floor for toilets. Participants sit on a carpeted floor all day. The worship team is young and loud and enthusiastic. We can tell when they sing an “old timey song” because the older Christians join in and begin to raise their hands. The young women and men each have their own dances they choreograph and perform during breaks. They would be a hit in the US…lots of the same movements.
We have 3 morning sessions and 3 afternoon sessions. Tom and John take turns in the 1st two sessions each half of the day…then the men and women break into separate groups, and I take the women, and John or Tom take the men. People wander in and out all during the sessions. Some have responsibilities with the children or cooking or cleaning up, so they come when they can. The pastors and leaders attending the conference are very quiet while a speaker is talking, and they take notes faithfully on what is being said.
People hungering for the Word of God! We may think that our sophisticated laid-back relationship with God is what He expects of a 21st century church, but we are sadly deluding ourselves. God expects of us what He obviously receives from the Christians in Nepal: total commitment.
I look forward to a day when the Western Church will rediscover Christ and humbly serve Him completely. I yearn for a time when all churches across our land will gather together, not because they are powerful or mighty, relevant and fashionable, but because they are filled with Spirit-led people and not just spiritual ones.
Question for personal reflection
How committed am I to Christ? Am I truly Spirit-led or just spiritual?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to rediscover a hunger for Your holy teachings and a thirst for Christian theology. Prevent us from being too focused on ourselves and keep us totally committed to worshiping, serving, and following You throughout our lives. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
Today’s image is one of John’s latest Advent drawings called “Mackintosh Advent.” It’s an art nouveau rendering of Advent candles in a church window. If you would like to view a larger version, click on the following link: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8469/8118931383_48d8bc70a9_b.jpg