(Thanks for being patient while the posts are a little less frequent. I’m getting caught up on all our school stuff, so I hope to be back on schedule in the next week or two.)
Yesterday morning, our church had the privilege of baptizing four young men and women. Our church is kind of small-ish so any baptism is a big deal, but this one was extra special. One of the young men, Revel, was in a wheelchair. Our church baptizes by immersion, so Revel put himself in the hands of the pastor and two other men to get him down in the water, baptize him, and get him back out. It was a beautiful picture of the desire to follow Christ’s example no matter what. Then the other men stood in for the rest of us in the body of Christ, coming alongside Revel to help him accomplish what he believed Christ was calling him to. He said that he felt comfortable, felt welcome at our church. His new wife was baptized yesterday, too. It truly was a joy to watch.
I wish that was the end of the story. Because of the special activities, the order of service in morning worship was a little out of sync. We had to move pulpit out of the way. The screen had to be raised and lowered a couple of times. The little kids weren’t dismissed for children’s church. And the stand-in worship leader didn’t ask for prayer requests. Some folks were a little distressed by that. It seems some folks didn’t come to the worship service, they came to worship the service. See the difference?
So many times in the Old Testament, God said to Israel through His prophets that their empty, ritualistic worship made Him sick. (I’m paraphrasing.) Maybe that’s our problem- we prefer form over function. We like predictability over faith. We like safe, and ordinary. Maybe we need more of that desire to obey that Revel has, even if it means going someplace we can’t go on our own.
Jesus was never predictable, or ritualistic, or formal. He was accessible, He was passionate and He was intense.