This post is about worship. First, though, a presupposition: We become what we behold. Don't believe me? Billions of dollars are spent every year by advertisers because they believe that people become...
Do you count the items the person in front of you has in their cart in the grocery store express lane? Do you honk your horn at people if they don’t smoke their tires the second the traffic light turns green? Do you ever pass slower drivers on the right and give them the evil eye as you go by? Do you line surf at Walmart? If you answered yes to these questions, you, my friend, have a wait problem.
In last week's post, I made the not-so-subtle suggestion that your church probably isn’t as friendly as you think. Even if you have all the expected contingencies – greeters, welcome stations, stand-and-greet sessions in the worship service, etc. – your church probably is not near as hospitable as you imagine. The reason is that when you walk in the door you know enough people and enough people know you that it feels like a family reunion.
I bet you think your church is friendly. It’s probably the friendliest church ever. You have greeters in the parking lot, in the lobby, even in the sanctuary. Every Sunday you see lots of handshakes, hugs and little groups of people huddled up in corners talking, laughing and loving on each other.
I had this routine when I was a kid. I’d come home from school, pull a sleeve of saltines from the box and lay a dozen crackers out on the counter. I’d take three of those processed cheese squares and quarter them, put a piece of cheese on each cracker and stack them up.
I’m preaching a series these days on the letters to the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Last Sunday, we focused on the church in Ephesus – the church that had forsaken the love they had at first. In the past, I interpreted that to mean that they had fallen out of love with Jesus.
Do not fear getting older, for with age comes many advantages. Senior discounts on McDonald’s extremely hot and delicious coffee, for one. The freedom to filter less of what you say or write for another. And perspective. You can look back across the decades and see with greater clarity personal, historic and culturally important events and trends to which you were oblivious in the moment.
We’ve been silent for awhile. Thank you for your patience. The following will explain.
On December 24th, 1950, my wife’s father, Kermit Hammond, drove one of the last trucks onto a U.S. Navy ship at the port of Hungnam, North Korea. Moments later, army and navy explosive teams blew up abandoned allied weapons and supplies to keep them out of the hands of the advancing Chinese Communist forces.
When I was a child, I read the Bible like a child. The only thing that distinguished the heroes and heroines in scripture from the superheroes I saw in Marvel or DC Comics was their costumes. And the comic book heroes were way better dressed than how I imagined their biblical counterparts might have been.