Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fear and Loathing in Church Council

Let's say that there was something that could happen... something you'd experienced before that was challenging, difficult or scary... something you knew had the potential to happen again, but which you prayed and hoped would not.

And then it didn't.

Like a devastating storm bearing down on your house that suddenly lifts and dissipates on a gentle breeze. It doesn't mean that another storm will never come your way, but this one, THIS storm passed, and nothing bad happened. What would you do? Would you shout for joy? Would you say "Amen" or "Thank you Jesus!" or "Praise God!"? or ANYthing that shows a grateful heart for the faithfulness of God??? And if you did all those things and someone told you not to get excited, what would be your response?

WHY ARE WE NOT EXCITED??? When something isn't going well, we ask God WHY, and to help us, and when something goes right, we question it... something quantifiable must have transpired to CAUSE this. We look for numbers, for data, for reasons why the bad thing didn't occur, looking to make sure that it isn't still lurking in the closet waiting to surprise us with some kind of horrific terror. We look for ways to credit ourselves and debunk any action that might be considered divine. We ask God for help every day, and when we receive it, invest far more energy in downplaying the goodness of it and trying to find the error, than in thanking our merciful Creator for life-affirming moments of faithfulness in action.

God is Good, All the Time; All the Time, God is Good.

When we bring fear to the table, then we begin to loathe, instead of love, the work of Christ's church. Fear divides and faith unites. God has a love enormous enough for all of us, if we hear it, and live it.