Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Detour or Deepening?

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



    As noted in the last edition, Scratching the Surface will dominate KDs for the next six months or so; but there will be an occasional detour as inspired/indigested.

    This is one of 'em.

    Watch for Scratching the Surface of Genesis in the next edition!


    Anyway, I just got back from presiding at a nuptial in a sanctuary of God's creative beauty - St. Augustine Beach, Florida.

    Parenthetically, I am often reminded how the Bible often reminds us that our Lord's presence is not restricted to space or time; and whenever/wherever His people gather in His name for worship, holy communion occurs.

    Of course, we know people are into their little Babels, icons, idols, and...religion about Him even more than relationship with Him.


    Go back to the preface of Scratching the Surface (right column).

    Really, how we ever came up with so much of our religious stuff about Him that blurs/distracts from a relationship with Him is beyond me; and as you've read in the preface, that's why I feel like I'm just Scratching the Surface.  Increasingly, I'm leaving religion about Jesus for a relationship with Him as I try to be an authentic undershepherd leading people away, uh, from religion about Him to a relationship with Him.

    Or something like that.

    Be that as it is, the wedding was wonderfully authentic and His presence graced the announcement of what He has done and will do for Alissa and Brandon.


    While immersed in praise to God for His providence in the marriage of Alissa and Brandon, I had three other inspirations/indigestions.

    You can decide if they were detours or deepenings.


    First, I went to Osteen's.

    Like bikers will tell you about the ride to freedom, there's no way for me to explain if you don't know.

    Kinda like a relationship with Jesus over religion about Him.

    Well, recalling how I often went there with a "covenant" group, I lamented briefly about the broken "covenant" related to Romans 12:3,10 and James 4 kinda stuff; and I grew inflamed over hypocrites in Christian clothing who say how much they love Jesus while they separate and segregate themselves from other hypocrites in Christian clothing who say how much they...

    People who say they love Jesus by distancing and divorcing themselves from other people who say they love Jesus have no credibility to stand up in their churches on Sunday mornings to pontificate like posers on how people can get together through Jesus when they don't.


    Lots of 'em wear those silly vestments to cover up who they really...



    Didn't Jesus say something about that/them?

    It's like my wife says when she wants to capture my attention, "Why don't you practice what you...?"


    Second, I called the franchise church in the old city about Sunday worship and got a recording about their services at 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.

    We arrived at 7:45 a.m. to discover the recording hadn't been changed to account for only one summer service at 10:00 am.

    So we went down the street to another franchise church and worshipped.

    Divine appointment.

    The preacher, the senior's associate, uh, preached on God's creating everyone in His image a la Genesis 1.

    What really, really, really got to me in a Scratching the Surface kinda way was his simple specificity: "God doesn't see tall or short or black or white or brown or red or yellow or skinny or overweight or Democrat or Republican or Methodist or...All He sees is relatives in His family...Everyone loved as much as and no more than..."

    I needed that confirmation/challenge/castigation after going to Osteen's and reading reports of my denomination's latest meeting and watching Obama/Romney hate/meanspirited ads and...


    Third, as I left the other franchise church and felt as close to God as I've ever felt anywhere with anyone at anytime and savored the wedding in a sanctuary of God's creative beauty on St. Augustine Beach and felt as close to God as I've ever felt anywhere with anyone at anytime, I recalled my second homiletics professor and dissertation advisor's movement from religion about Jesus to relationship with Jesus not long after he retired from the religion about Jesus over relationship with Jesus institutional gig.

    I'll never forget how he invited me to worship with him at an "emerging" church on Nassau Street.

    He said he started going there on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings because he wanted something...

    If I have to complete that sentence for you, you wouldn't understand anyway.




    You decide for yourself.

    As pour moi, I'm just Scratching the Surface.


Blessings and Love!

1 comment:

Ella Jane said...

I cannot understand how people can be satisfied with religion "about Jesus" in lieu of relationship "with Him"! Oh to know HIM and the power of His Resurrection - that defines boundaries!