Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The more things change. . .

"Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, "Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations." - 1 Samuel 8:4-5.

This, I think, is maybe the most descriptive depictions of the common temptations that we as Christians can face. Here we are in God's Church (or nation, if you are Old Testament) and we look up, and man, do we see problems. Everyone's getting old - the kids aren't showing up like they should. What shall we do?

The elders of Israel made a demand of Samuel - give us a king. . . just like everyone else. This is the temptation of human nature - to run with the crowd. When we are off on our own, apart from the rest of the people, and things look rough, our first instinct is to jump back in the crowd.

And so, even today, the temptation for the Church is to do what everyone else in the world is doing. Church ought to look, sound, and feel just like the rest of the world - or so many clamor. And yet, in doing this we forget one simple thing.

It is not our church; it is God's. It is not grown by our effort or wisdom; it is grown by the Word of God. It does not stand upon our abilities to fit in; it stands upon Christ.

When things go bad, we want to duck our head and fit in. This is sad - for we should seek to be faithful.

1 comment:

Pastor D said...

To quote one of the members of the Confirmation class at Wyneken talking about this subject "And those who don't like it should just suck it up because Jesus is way more awesome and cool than you could ever be..."