It is amazing how you can hear something over and over again, but one day it just clicks. It makes sense. It doesn't go in one ear and out the other, but rather it lingers for a while and has a way of changing your mind and heart. My God!
My pastor, Rev. Dr. Allen Paul Weaver, is a wise man. I am blessed to be a hearer of his preaching, a student of his teaching, and his daughter in ministry. He is a real teacher. His preaching is didactic, but not boring. He can jump with the best of them, but he reserves the jump for when it gets real good. In fact, he doesn't plan to jump. The Spirit moves him to jump. He doesn't put on a show when preaching, but rather he lets the Word of God excite him. And when he gets excited, it is genuine and contagious. But I'm not blogging/bragging about my pastor today, but rather I want to lift up something he said on Sunday morning...
Now, don't get me wrong, I love to have church. You know—hand-clapping, foot-stomping, hallelujahs dancing in the air, tambourines clanging, somebody just might break out in a run—church. I love when people are excited about the salvific work of Christ, when folks are praising God for just how good He is, and when people are expressing their gratitude in body and voice. Here is where the wisdom of Dr. Weaver comes in. He said, "It is not how high you jump on Sunday morning; It is how straight you walk when you come down." Can I get an amen?
So many of us put on on Sunday mornings. We jump and shout and run and wail and sing about love and then leave the sanctuary without being changed. We leave without having had an experience with the living God. We leave with the same old mess we came in with. We leave walking just as crooked as when we came in. But, as Dr. Weaver would say in jest, "Chile, we sure did have church this morning."
I don't know about you, but I am tired of having church and playing church. I want to be the church. I want to be a genuine follower of Jesus Christ. I want to be one who daily is being conformed into His image. I want to be one whose life witnesses to the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. I want to have a renewed mind—renewed by the power of the word. I want my life to bring glory to God. I want to, in the words of the prophet Micah, "to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.(Micah 6:8). I want to, in the words of Jesus, "love the LORD my God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength, and with all my mind,’ and ‘my neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27).
And, I want to jump and shout and run and wail and sing on Sunday mornings...but only if it produces a straighter walk on Monday morning.
(Amen Painting by Sheila J. Hall. Taken from http://fineartamerica.com/featured/amen-sheila-j-hall.html)