Preparing for Worship: Wild God (9am only this week!)

Preparing for Worship: Wild God (9am only this week!)

John Haralson   •   July 1, 2016

“Most of the ordinary people who lose their faith are not overthrown by philosophical argument; they are disillusioned by the churchmen they meet. One sanctimonious hypocrite makes a hundred unbelievers. One little knot of gossips tearing a neighbor’s reputation apart on the church steps smashes the sabbath to splinters.”

Joy Davidman, Smoke on the Mountain


“How little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets the real thing . . . it is irresistible. If even 10% of the world’s population had it, would not the whole world be converted and happy before a year’s end?”

―C.S. Lewis, Collected Letters


Dear Friends,

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My niece is staying with us this week. We were talking this morning at the breakfast table about the cultural dynamics of the church youth group kids in her high school. 

She can’t stand them.

Even though she is a Christian herself, she doesn’t like being around them. They are smug and self-righteous, and give off a “we’re better than you vibe.” The combination of their claim to be followers of Jesus coupled with their, let’s face it, unattractive lives led her to the simple conclusion, “They’re the worst.”

God agrees with her. 

A lot of times, we Christians can (rightfully) lament the evil in the world and cry out to God to do something about it. We want him to come and make what is crooked straight. This is crying out for God to “judge”. In the biblical story, to judge means not just to render a decision about something. It means to repair and restore a person, a situation, or a people. Biblical judging always includes restorative action.

Much of the time, we safely assume that what is crooked is “out there” in the world somewhere. God needs to act, and he should obviously start with those outside of our own little circle. 

But, the living God is full of surprises. When he comes into the world, he does make what is crooked straight. But, where does he start? Where is clean-up and restoration needed most critically? 

Here is what the Apostle Peter said:

For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God.

To quote the great theologian Homer Simpson, “Doh!”.

God begins his work of judgment with his own people. True, he doesn’t stop there, but that is where he begins.

This Sunday, we will be considering Psalm 50 and God’s commitment to replace our hypocrisy with hearts and lives that are genuinely thankful and obedient to him.

This Sunday: Wild God, Psalm 50

 Liturgy is here. I hope to worship with you.

John


P.S. Keep in mind that we will only have one worship service this Sunday, at 9am.