Last Sunday Jamie asked us all what is it God commands us all to do against what our expectation of the church might be? I wonder have you ever thought that your expectations, although not necessarily wrong, might not have been in line with God’s commands? What might be important to us, isn’t as important to God? I do hope you have all given some prayerful thought to that and that we all judge the action of the leadership of the church based on God’s commands rather than our own expectations.
In April, we will begin a new series called Dear Church which will consider the letters to the seven churches found in Revelations. The phrase that comes up within those letters is interesting. It’s something like, ‘I have a few things against you’. The letter then goes on to describe what is going on in the church that is not pleasing to God. Deal with it, the writer says, otherwise there will be consequences.
I wonder if there was a letter to the Angel of Broadmead what would it affirm and what would follow after the phrase ‘there are a few things I hold against you.’ It is all very sobering, and hopefully prompts us to go deeper into understanding what it is that God requires from each of us as part of this church.
Amos wrote these powerful words about the love of Israel which have been paraphrased in the Message like this.
“I can’t stand your religious meetings.
I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
your pretentious slogans and goals.
I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes,
your public relations and image making.
I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
When was the last time you sang to me?
Do you know what I want?
I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it.
That’s what I want. That’s all I want. Amos 5:21-24
So as we consider God’s commands against our expectations, how about starting here.
- Forget the rituals – be kind
- Forget the religion – love poeple
- Be fair: Be just: Love, love, love
We can develop hard hearts and soft feet. God wants the opposite – soft hearts and hard feet.
A heart for the unloved and feet that are toughened by going where others fear to tread, wherever that might be.
Join us again on Sunday as we continue to ask ‘What does God ask of me?’