Liz and I have been looking for a church since we've arrived in Ennis. I say we're looking for a church but more accurately we're looking for a community to join. I've defined several things I want to have in an area before choosing to settle there, one of those being a solid Christian community that Liz and I can join, grow with, learn from, and minister to.
Our most recent outing was to a local Baptist church. One thing we're finding is that before we head to any church (an Episcopal and Baptist so far) I look up the denomination on Wikipedia, since I usually have no idea what the difference between them is. What differentiates a Baptist from a Lutheran from a Presbyterian? No idea. I'm sure there is a joke in there somewhere.
On our latest church outing my mind started wandering during the sermon (not a good sign). Luckily the pamphlet had some papers with a "Notes" section so I started writing down my stream of consciousness. Here it is unedited.
[the pastor was talking about revival and how the church needs a revival]
If you take away the audience, would the message change? Is it a message for a church or for a person? There is truth, and then truth that needs to be told. Would you give a physics lecture to a congregation? It's truth, just like any other... but is it healing truth? Restorative truth? Does it usher in, even a little, the kingdom of God? What is God saying versus what are we saying? Is this the most poignant, direct, and powerful message that we need? Can we talk our way through revival or must we live through it? Was it Martin Luther King's speeches that transformed a nation or was it his walks? His demonstrations? Inviting people to live into that message made it real... what about Jesus? Was it the sermon or the touch?
[the pastor made a remark about how this is the most lost generation ever and that if we don't have revival, we will lose this generation]
We will lose the millennial generation? Do we really have the burden of not losing a generation? Are we, as a collective people, responsible for a generation? Am I judged by how many I've saved? God is so powerless that if we don't do something we will lose this round? He'll [God] lose the battle? Are we soldiers or medics? What are we fighting? Who are we fighting? Jesus fought pride and oppression that was done in his name. God set up the Jews as a light to the world, a beacon. Some of among them had become religious, prideful, and ruined. He came to replace a people as a beacon. He himself became the embodiment of the message of God. That is how it became accessible to gentiles. Blood replaced by spirit.
I was just awash with thoughts about the church, the gospel, and Christian community. I'll have to dig into these thoughts more later. Something just feels off.