Monday, April 23, 2007

When the excitement is gone

Thinking about the contrast between the spirit of the worship gatherings we experienced in Mexico and many in the United States, I wonder if some of the difference is that we are no longer overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for God's mercy, grace, and love.

Living under the addictive opiate of Disneyland (the USA), we too often forget what it meant/means to be "lost." Hence, our sense of wonder at being "found" is diminished.

If I am not filled with wonder at God's salvation, "worship" too easily becomes diminished into an "entertain me" mentality in which I evaluate the various elements of the service based on my preferences and how I feel about what is happening.

Similarly, an awareness of the presence of God, burns away any idea that "it's about me."


Casey said...

I wonder if part of our lethargy isn't related to the fact that compared to America, how good could heaven be?

Of course I know that is a ridiculous statement, but we live in a culture that is so wealthy and affluent that most of our 'problems' are laughable by global/historical standards. While reading 1 Peter I was struck how heavily Peter points toward heaven and the promise of eternal life to a church under Roman persecution.

I think that in our self-sufficient affluence we have truly forgotten our desperate need for salvation and transformation. Calvin Miller has a quote that escapes me at the moment, the gist of which is "Those searching here on earth are all the poorer because our treasures are buried in the sky." I fear that for me this is too true.

Since so much of my world and culture revolves around me and my satisfaction and comfort, I fear the 'muscles' that thrust me heavenward in worship and outward in loving service are flabby.

I can only imagine that this, in part, explains the difference between Mexico and the US. And while the prognosis is easy, the tough part is what to do about it…

Casey said...

I found the quote attributed to Calvin Miller. It doesn't add anything - I'm just obsessive about misquoting.

"The world is poor because her fortune is buried in the sky and all her treasure maps are of the earth." Clavin Miller