Sacred Spaces 523 – More thoughts on John 9.

I love it when scripture comes alive!  (That’s what happened to me sitting in a church here in Somerset West yesterday.)

The preacher spoke about John chapter 9.  Here are the verses that got me thinking:

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ARE YOU APPROACHABLE?

“20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue.”

– if you are a church leader / deacon (or whatever) – are you approachable? Or are people scared of you?
– what religion do you live out? Is it one, that calls others to fear you? Surely, that is destructible?!
Basically, the religious uptight – kills the soul!

THE BRILLIANT CHEEK:

27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?” 28 Then they hurled insults at him…

– If he spoke, out of pure ignorance (and innocence) – the pharisees (Sanhedrin)’s reply must have confused this poor “once was blind guy.”
He was probably thinking: ‘Gosh, why do they hate this guy so much? He seems pretty swell. After all, he did heal me and all.’

OR

– If he was being cheeky in his reply, it was brilliant! “what’s with all the questions about Jesus? You want to be a follower?” Haha! It just made me chuckle. Anyone else see the humour in it?

KEEP IT SIMPLE:

“25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

– Less is more.
– Keep it simple.
– What does the process or “how to” matter?
– I was blind, but now I see…
I was lost, but now I am found….
I was scared, but now I am brave…
I had no purpose, now I have life…

You get the idea.
Faith is a life thing. Not a discussion!

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An honest interview with the church (Question 3: What is with the “predictability” of the order of a service?)

Previous posts here:

Introduction

Question 1 / Part 1

Question 2

interview with the church A

Question 3) What is with the “predictability” of the order of a service?

The Interviewer:

On my visits to various church services; I have noted that the order of every service seem so similar and so predictable.  It’s like having the same thing on your sandwich for lunch for 28 years.  Tedious and boring!  Why does the church insist on stick to that predictability?

Most services, go like this:

i) Welcome
ii) Prayer
iii) Singing
iv) Sermon
v) Collection
vi) Last song
v) Benediction

Week in, week out!

And even the songs sung in your churches are the same way each time:

Verse 1
Chorus
Verse 2
Chorus
Bridge
Soft chorus
Loud chorus
Repeat last line!

What’s up with that?  Surely, even God gets bored of that?

The Church:

Another great question.  At this point of our interview am I allowed to say I totally agree with you and say that your question is also my question?  I’d love to see the church offer “different services” more regularly.

I reckon in our songs… (Being cheeky here) that God sits with His angels and says to them: “Check it out, after the bridge of that song, they’re going to go into a quiet chorus.  They did that the week before, and the week before that…”

I know I am being cheeky here.  And thank God, God is God and I am not.

Because I am sure His patience and love of us, his people, his church… is NOT LIMITED at all.

He understands our very peculiar ways.
People love predictably and habit.
Well, most people.
Hence, the nature of most church services.
The order, the predictability.
People find comfort in the familiar.

Now for the arty and creative types, I hear and get their frustration.

Because surely “offer God different styles of services and songs?”

Why couldn’t a song be started with the bridge?
Or perhaps a chorus is sung once – then the church moves onto the next song?
Or perhaps songs could be meshed together?

All of that is possible.
And that is my continual prayer…

That church services and songs would be less predictable!!

Every service should be seen as an expression of love to our very real and present God.
We should “spice” things up a bit.

Why not read out Psalms?
Why not share more testimonies?
Why not have more times of silent?
Why not sit in the garden of the church instead?
Why not get the church colouring in?
Why not have breakfast together instead?

The options are endless.

I guess… a lot of this falls on the people and leadership teams of the different churches.

Certain people are attracted to certain types of church.

So in answering your question; I hear your concern.

And I’d tell the individual: to hang in there, put some unpredictability in your own “walk and worship with God.”

That’d help combat the frustration of the predictability in those four walls of your church.

“I like to see that our worship to God is like throwing up a present to God each week (and He would catch it)… but each week we choose what that gift is.  One week it could be red wrapping with a blue ribbon.  The next week.  It’s a gift bag.  Then the following week, we wrap the gift in newspaper.  Or green and yellow stripes.  You get the idea?”