If we believe that the gospel was way ahead of its time and is still lightyears beyond anything we can even think or imagine, then that should compel us to put our faith in Jesus and allow Him to lead us forward.
This can be scary. One of my friends likened it to a trapeze artist. They’ve become so used to the rhythm and flow of the swings, the strength of the ropes, and the net below that they let go of the first swing before the second one is even within reach. In fact, if they wait too long they would miss the jump!
Sometimes the changes people suggest can seem scary. It can be tough to leave the safety and security of what we are used to and take a leap of faith based on someone else’s goals or dreams.
But when we reflect on the history of our lives, our families, and our churches, the presence of God is evident, even in the times of bruises, scrapes, church splits, and loss.
So when someone comes forward and says, “Guys, let’s start a praise team.” Or “let’s gather around the table for communion like they did in the early church instead of sitting in pews.” Or “what if we had a coffee table in the foyer as a way to welcome visitors and get to know each other.”
Our immediate reaction could be, “Well that’s not how we always did it!”
But what if those suggestions are like when the Spirit led Phillip to the Eunuch? What if they are inspired by someone’s vision for what the church could be?
If the Spirit thought that one man on a chariot in the middle of nowhere was worth it, then what if the ideas our brothers and sisters have are worth the risk as well?
What if their hopes and goals come from their relationship with Jesus through the gospel, not just some vain need for change?
When Michal saw David leaping and dancing for the Lord, she despised him in her heart (2 Samuel 6:16). They were blowing trumpets, making sacrifices, and dancing with all their might. And instead of rejoicing with those who rejoice, like God wants His children to do, she sat in the window and wept.
When he got back home she said, “How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!”
David’s response provides us with wise words for today, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel; therefore I will celebrate before the Lord.”
David was a man after God’s own heart. He authored many of the Psalms, and there are more verses about him in the Bible than any other character besides Jesus.
His response should be ours: “The Lord called me by the glorious good news of Jesus. Therefore I will celebrate before the Lord regardless of who is laughing from their windows.”
Sometimes we worry about change in the church, not because of our own thoughts or convictions, but because of what some other church or group might think of us.
Let them laugh. Let them judge.
God gave me gifts. God gave you gifts.
Imagine what our churches would be if we, like David, exercised our gifts with all our might regardless of what the Michals of the world think!
Put yourself out there. Let go of the trapeze and trust in God to provide you with another to grab onto. You’ve seen Him at work in your life up to this point, so why not trust Him now?
If you want to see something done in the church whether it be a program, ministry, or even a change in the Sunday assembly, take charge, dream big, and count on your brothers and sisters to join you in the dance. Trust in the shepherds of your congregation to lead you and support you in your dreams.
Michal ended up dying with no children. Churches who spend their time judging from the windows will end up the same way.
Jesus wants you to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Traditions are good, but any tradition that keeps even one of our members from doing that ought to be discarded. Why? Because if they can’t worship God with their whole self with us (as Jesus told them to!!), then they will find somewhere they can.
Just imagine what it would be like. We would learn things about each other and grow closer to one another in ways we never imagined.
The church shouldn’t have to have a retreat to get people to get out of their comfort zones, make friends, cut up, and maybe act a little silly! Every Sunday should be a retreat, a celebration, a party because we have ETERNAL LIFE, so we should celebrate before the Lord like David, not shut it up inside and judge those who have the courage to celebrate like Michal.