I wonder if even our Christianity is an idol sometimes.
Me too. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately actually. How we assume so much based solely on “Christian tradition”-& so much of it isn’t God honoring.
Exactly. Or worse, so much of it forgets about Him entirely. It is almost as if we think we have figured out how to be Christians separate from Christ.
This morning I couldn’t shake the memory of a recent, stinging, experience.
Two dear friends were talking excitedly in hushed tones. I attempted to enter the conversation, and was told, “We can’t tell you. You’re one of the ‘married ones’ now.”
Decisions to follow God’s leading seemingly had barred me from the hearts of those I loved. Later in life, perhaps, God’s hand would alienate me from other hearts I love: those who want children and have not been able to conceive, those who do not want children and have “too many”, those who want to live a comfortable life in the suburbs of our great Nation.
These divisions are not of God.
There is no marriage or giving in marriage in heaven. In fact, neither nationality or gender exist in the Kingdom: we are all one in Christ. We have more in common with our most “different” brother or sister than those in nearly identical life circumstances apart from Christ. The Kingdom is not a matter of eating or drinking, or any fleshly thing.
How often we forget.
Fear builds walls. We want to be around others who are “like” us, so that we can feel comfortable with our myopic perceptions. But God knew better. ”Married” people, if I can use such a useless (non-eternal) term, need “single” people (again, a useless term) to maintain spiritual convictions in often-overlooked areas. We need each other.
Fear builds walls, but love bridges. God, convict me of the walls I have built between my brothers and sisters. If I have become at all irrelevant in their lives, teach me to find my center in You — and to draw others to that center.
What I miss most about pre-residency life is regular fellowship. Counting the months until I can regularly attend a church worship gathering.
“Why do you have to leave me?”
“I’m not leaving you, babe. I’m just going to be in a different place. And I’m coming back for you.”
Reminds me of Matthew 28.
“I love ceremonies. I’d rather go to a wedding ceremony of someone I don’t know than a reception of someone I do know.”
They looked at me like I had just sprouted a third eye. I wish I had sprouted one, actually. I could think of a few things on which I would like to have a better perspective.
“Seriously. I think it is so fascinating to hear how people choose to pledge their lives to one another.”
(It’s true. Such a beautiful opportunity to observe an intimate exchange.)
“Liz, you have such an interesting take on things,” one of my friends laughed.
Maybe I do. I am a connoisseur of ceremonies, having attended and been an attendant in more weddings than I can recall. There are a few things I hope I never forget to appreciate:
I think each of the above have eternal significance, because they will matter in the marriage of Christ to the Church. And if they will matter then, they should matter now. Marriage is a temporal type for an eternal covenant. And in every ceremony, secular or spiritual, I feel the veil between the temporal and the eternal is partially drawn. Every time, I catch a glimpse of God. And that, my friends, is why I love weddings.
When breakfast looks like this, the leaves are just starting to change, your husband can attend church with you, and your parents have invited you over to watch the Bills game on a big screen TV: looks like a good day :) Grateful.
This ought to be a troubling verse indeed for us as the American church. With so much immorality, greed, idolatry, slander, drunkenness and swindling going on: should we even be eating at all?
“But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.” -I Corinthians 5:11
If you can get rid of expectation, you can’t be disappointed. Working on that. Sad today at missing church and a lot of good converasations with the people close to my heart. Encouraged today that this too will pass.
From a note passed in church. True. And humbling.
“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.
The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.
For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.
We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God.This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church.”
- A.W. Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy
I hope when I have the freedom to go to church every Sunday that I never forget the number of weeks I wished I was driving to church rather than the hospital.