This is such a wonderful time to be alive.
My son in San Francisco asked for advice on which upcoming symphony concerts to attend. I suggested Verdi’s “Requiem” and a guest appearance by New York’s new hero, Alan Gilbert, conducting Beethoven and Haydn.
I went to the Internet to research the Requiem, then to YouTube to watch the “Lux Aeterna” and “Dies Irae.” Following the genome trail, I clicked my way to Mozart’s “Dies Irae,” Rutter’s “Lux Aeterna,” scenes from Princess Diana’s funeral, Pavarotti’s solo in Westminster, Elton John’s moving tribute, a man weeping, a couple consoling each other, and then on – only the music genome could do this – to pop classics like “House of the Rising Sun” and “California Dreaming,” as well as Eric Clapton.
This little journey took me to a deep place. I can’t say why. Scenes of a tragic death, I suppose, and music’s unique ability to capture our deepest emotions. But even more, I sensed the inter-relatedness of things. The inter-relations aren’t new, but now we can see them. Our field of vision isn’t limited to what we know, or what we cared about yesterday, or what someone told us. We can follow threads and branches and ideas, hear a basic chord tell of death and then of life, and watch Elton John’s face as he knowingly offended England’s royalty in order to honor a friend.
FAITH Q & A
Q: What about Sunday worship?
A: It’s what we do well. We enjoy it. It touches many lives. It ought to continue, and it deserves our good efforts.
Sunday worship just isn’t enough, however. It never has been enough, and it certainly isn’t enough now. We put the bulk of our resources into serving a small and shrinking minority and have little time, energy, money or staffing left for the many other opportunities for ministry that we should be pursuing. That leaves the vast majority of prospective constituents looking elsewhere or doing without.
We wait for them to enter our doors on Sunday, but they don’t come. They aren’t turning away from God or faith. They just don’t value Sunday church. Making it better and better doesn’t change that lack of interest.
Instead of waiting for people to come to us on our terms – expecting them to enjoy what we enjoy – we need to be going out into the marketplace, touching many lives, sensing needs, responding to needs, inviting people to our homes for small groups and house churches, inviting people to hammer some nails with us or serve some food.
It’s both-and – both Sunday worship and a whole lot more. Could be an exciting time for us.