I’ve asked several people this week, what should happen on a Sunday morning, and one word keeps creeping in. Not the only word, but a good one.
So the people come to the church on Sunday morning, carrying their lives on their backs, the breakdowns in expectation of the previous weeks and months, the frustrations of all that didn’t go right, as well as the unexpected joys, gifts out of the blue, sudden attraction in relationships, good food and company that caught everyone by surprise. They wake on Sunday morning, and decide to head to a church, for reasons numerous and diverse. Maybe they want to see a friend, or lift their hands to God, or maybe they’re hoping to get a feeling of forgiveness for a shameful thing they’ve never been able to shake. Maybe they’re dragging a spouse, thinking the spouse needs to change, and if the preacher will just say the right things, the home will become the place of comfort and refuge they dreamed of when they were little. Or maybe they come because their parents beat it into them, and they can’t escape the guilt, so church is their penance, their sentence, and they suffer because they just can’t muster up the strength to say they don’t believe a word of it.
Or maybe every once in awhile there’s a person in love with the source of the divinity interlaced with every moment, every space, and every good thing. Maybe they see glory, and they run to the house of God because they feel like the Psalmist, that a single day in the courts of God are better than a thousand in the richest palace elsewhere.
Not realizing, of course, that the courts of God are everywhere.
For whatever reason they come on a Sunday morning, the guy who gets to talk to them now is me. No fancy language this, no religious upgrading speech–“God speaking through me” (though my faith is that something like that is exactly what happens.) How astonishing–I get to sit across a table and talk to these people. As if we were having coffee (though it’s not exactly like that, because I get to do all the talking), but here we sit together, both of us hoping for an intimate time, a time of truth-telling, comfort-giving, challenge-making, repentance-falling, glory-to-glory time. We’re all looking for the same thing. In our secret hearts, we are hoping that God will come to us, make us his home, just as Jesus said, and that we will receive a heaping dose of divine air, of divine oxygen, of the stuff of life. What we want (as in desire, as is what we lack) is inspiration.
As Bill Hybels says, “Whatever you do, inspire me.”
Breathe on me, breath of God…