These are the sacraments
I know there may be some arguability(is that a word?) in that statement. But I think the point of the song struck me in a new way today: there is no sacred vs. secular. To us who believe, we can make the sacrifice of praise wherever we are, altar or no altar. We can revel in the broken body of Christ, with or without the traditional sacrament. Not that we would do away with our steeples, altars, and "wine"....heavens, no!...just that I'm seeing that "life is a church" wherever and whenever I still my heart to worship. Hope that made sense!
Been thinkin' on something else, too: There is a prevailing message in our culture today...this "prosperity gospel", it's called. Take the time to listen to some of it and it can really set your mind reeling. Some preach the message so well, that it becomes quite convincing, and then you're stuck with the question, "what's wrong with me?!" The more I have pondered this enigma, between a "prosperity" gospel, and a gospel of "suffering with Christ", I have come to an irritated conclusion. For one thing, just that exactly...where did we get the idea we could live lives of comfortable Christianity? On our worst day, most of us will still never actually suffer for the cause of Christ. But have troubles and valleys of discouragement....ah, yes....that we will know a thing or two about. Doesn't mean we're not prospering in the grace of God, though. At least that's how I'm viewing it these days. And then secondly, and most irritatingly, I stopped short when the thought hit me that those who preach this so-called 'prosperity' or 'self-enhancement' gospel are in effect making the message be one of an AMERICAN GOSPEL! No where else on the globe, especially places that are inherently prone to hardship, could they get away with preaching this message to people! This gospel leaves out half the population....no way that can be the right message. That's when everything Kimberly was saying regarding Katrina issues, etc., finally made sense to me. I get it now.
A message of ease, comfort, wealth, health, favor(the new buzz word), and blessing sure does sound like a mighty fine life. Mighty fine. But, if it's not TRUE, if it doesn't lead me to my ultimate destination, and if it doesn't line up with the whole picture presented in the Scripture, then in reality it's a message of disillusionment. Reminds of the parachute example I shared with you previously; you put on that "parachute" expecting prosperity, and find a quite different life indeed....well, then you'd just throw it off altogether. I know I would.
So for me, the challenge is to really expect better of myself in how I view the nasty circumstances that life throws my way at times. Hold my head up anyway, trust God anyway, praise Him anyway...and believe that relief is in sight somewhere down the road. It's time to hold myself to a higher standard.
In an un-related note: I wanted to put out a word to everyone who would feel led to pray for this need. My parents made friends with a young couple while they were living in Kansas. Beautiful family, five children...and the wife/mother is battling aggressive cancer. Updates on her condition can be found on this blog. If God brings her to mind, would you pray for her? Her name is Sandy. I'm praying for God's will....but also asking for His miracle healing touch on her body. Thank you!