Saturday, January 22, 2011
Reflections on the Mind and Mystery of Christ
I attended my first church service today -- a small house church of about 25 people about 15 minutes drive from where I am staying. I got to drive which was fun for me -- right side of the car on the left side of the street -- just like South Africa -- but WAY more challenges! Anyway the house church had the plastic chairs placed in the living room. Typical of an Indian gathering -- we left our shoes at the door and so barefoot walking inside. The message was in English with Telegu translation -- that is the language of the state that Hyderabad is in . . .Andrha Pradesh. They also have another church service that follows the one we attended which takes place on the roof of this house. Many houses have gatherings or events on their roof --
Anyway -- I was struck by the simplicity in which they worshiped, shared from God's word and even participated in communion (by the way -- I am not sure if the grape juice had been sitting in the sun -- but it was almost fermented - -it was like taking a shot! Was that real wine?) I thought about coming from the other side of the world and just walking in and sitting down and feeling totally a part of the gathering -- how cool and how appropriate that is for the Body Of Christ. It says in the book of Revelation that when Jesus returns -- he would have with him a group from, "every tribe and every nation" -- getting a glimpse of that is wonderful.
I also was thinking about how many of the churches in America seem to have lost that sense of openness -- so that a stranger stays a stranger when they visit a service. Now it is not because the format is totally different. It is more about the Heart and Spirit of the place.
I was following a Mentor & friends' website where he was asking others to comment on ways that perhaps we can reflect true leadership which reflects the Kingdom of God and not "Christian culture" and I wrote the following -- I repeat it here for you . . .
I have been getting an image in my mind (not sure if this is the Lord or not) of a funnel. Like the one you would use to pour oil into a motor. On one end it is very narrow and on the other end it is very wide -- When I think about some of the Church in America I feel as though we enter from the wide part of the funnel -- and the more we move on in life and in the "Christian experience" we feel more and more constrained by what is known as "The Church." There are a select group of people making all the decisions and everyone else has to "conform" to fit this small perspective -- even though we are the people who are the children of the one who spoke this entire world and all its brilliance and wonder into being - It feels as though we have taken the words of Jesus that said, "Narrow is the path that leads to life" and he also talks about "Broad being a path to destruction." I think that was in regards to the morality in the way we live -- not our perspective on life. When I think about facilitating the Kingdom of God on earth -- I think we have to have the mind and the mystery of Christ. Think of the most open minded person you have ever been around -- someone very secure in who they are -- not threatened by opposing viewpoints -- how refreshing it is to be in their presence -- How much more do think the Mind of Christ is. Jesus is the Mind over every mind. He is so secure in who He is. He knows Who He is and What He came here for -- yet there was incredible mystery about Him as well. When people think of Christianity in our day and age -- they tend to think of A narrow-minded political group that is very aware of what they are against or other stereo-typical attitudes that do not reflect our Savior. The bible tells us that we have access to His mind.
1 Cor. 2:16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ."
I think we have also lost the mystery of life -- because we know "The Truth" it is almost like the awe and expectation of life are gone -- we have "arrived" it seems and we are trying to manage everything instead of giving the Holy Spirit His place in our lives and in turn in the Church. We have lost the ability to sit in God's presence and just be silent in the majesty of His presence and who He is --and to let Him birth His will in our hearts and reflect it in our lives --
1 Cor. 2: 6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen, No ear has heard, No Mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love Him" —
10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
These words cause me to turn the funnel around and to peer through the narrow side and look out the other side into an ever increasing ever widening perspective into the mystery of God.