Saturday, November 15, 2008

Christmas is coming

At the moment we are preparing for Christmas at church. And this year we’ve called it ‘Wonder’.

Wonder is one of those characteristics of life that is in very short supply. It’s pretty much counter-cultural these days to admit to live with it. We live in a world where everything boils down to an explanation. It seems that as a generation we can’t rest until we know, until we can explain, until we have the reasons. We also can’t commit to anything we don’t understand, or have all the answers about.

One of the most quoted passages in the bible on worship is Romans 12 v1, where we are urged to be living sacrifices - wholly and pleasing to God, as this is our spiritual act of worship. Too often though we miss the word ‘therefore’ that starts this passage off. And in this case the ‘therefore’ is a response to Romans 11 that talks about the truly unfathomable, inexplicable, indescribable nature of God.

What we are being called to, it seems, is to worship someone - God - who we will never fully know, understand, explain. In short - we are to live in a place of wonder.

And for me, that is what keeps worship alive - keeps me searching, keeps me following, keeps me singing. The fact that I will never be able to fully understand, fully appreciate, fully comprehend God - who He is or why He does what He does.

We in our churches and in our ministries need to live in wonder. We can’t reduce our lives as worshippers to a set of procedures, creeds or profit and loss accounts. We need to linger in the cloud a little more - not try and explain it, manage it, control it, assess it. But pause in that place where things are mysterious and let the wonder grow. It's what brings life alive.

Christmas is a time of wonder: but that wonder should never be confined to a few days at the end of December. It should stay with us from the cradle to the grave.

And well beyond.

1 comment:

kevvo_b said...

A great post. What really struck me in this was the fact that wonder can be so easily lost when the focus shifts from the eternal "other" and Holy God to the media through which we can express worship to Him. When things are reduced to earth-y melodies, tunes, styles, art-forms, liturgies, books, and generally things created by humans, our (my) reliance and routine can subtly but totally slip from a complete focus on God and seeking His revelation, to trying to find it through other people's interpretations/expressions (and the industries that now surround them). I'm not downplaying creative expression in any way, but I feel that it is so easy to lose the wonder, which must come first; before anything else. Thanks for reminding me in the focus to take. Ironically, I hope that I've expressed this view with some clarity!