What I’m Reading Today: Mark 6:30-7:37
This past week I had an epiphany of sorts about how I wanted to alter an area in the worship life of our community. I was looking for ways that we could begin to introduce new music into the life of the congregation in ways that had musical and theological integrity. I had been agonizing for months about how we might go about doing that.
And then something occurred to me. What if – instead of doing the traditional thing and designating some one (such as myself) or some group (such as a song leading team) to pick out new music for the congregation – we invited the members of the congregation themselves to bring in a favorite song to share that is not in our hymnal. Once we checked to see if we had copyright permission to reproduce the song, we could then create a congregational songbook that had integrity for the congregation since it would be filled with music the members themselves had picked.
I laughed as the idea occurred to me, because I should have thought of this idea years ago. After all, I’m the “emergent church” guy who prides himself on thinking outside the boxes and finding radical ways of empowering worshipers to participate in the process. And yet in this area, I was completely buying into the old models that said only “experts” should pick out music for the congregation.
As I read today’s text from the Gospel of Mark, I saw myself in Jesus words big time. When Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah as saying: “These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn’t in it” – he was talking about me. I made a big show of talking about the spiritual important of involving/empowering laity, yet when it came time to practice it, I wasn’t there. Thankfully, God is patient with me and gives me time to move from merely professing values to actually start living those values.
Today, I would invite you to join with me in seeing if there is an area of your life where your professed values are not in line with your lived experience – areas where “you make a big show of saying the right thing” and yet fail to put those words into action.
Til next time…