Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Whole Point of Faith - "We're Loaded"!

Talking about being a clergy-hubby
Guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk-show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts. People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith.(1 Tim 6:20-12 - The Message)

My previous post - Bankrupt Without Love - certainly got some conversations going over the weekend! Sunday morning, for example, at least ten people asked me specifically if I'd been writing about them - and that was just at the early service! My answer was - always - that there are literally dozens of people working on my heart at any given time... "And you're one of them."

Rebekah - a.k.a. "The Preacher", must have been thinking along the same lines because she spent a couple of minutes during her sermon (the "So What" phase), throwing out categories of life challenge. "Am I getting personal yet?" she asked. Well, with somewhere around 400 people in church, the answer was a most definite "Yes".  

Here's the sermon, BTW, if you're interested. Rebekah tends to preach around 20-minutes and this one is 23. "The Lord Was With Him" It's a message about the bottom line for Joseph, who - even though his life was always challenging and often tragic - never forgot to recognize that God was with him.

Reality Show - 24/7:
As a Clergy-Hubby I find it critically important that I get this message right and that I represent it consistently in my life. Because my story really is a "live", constantly "on", 24/7 reality show.

Remember the 1998 movie, "The Truman Show"? Here's one plot summary posted on line: "Truman's life is a nonstop TV show. He doesn't realize that his quaint hometown is a giant studio set run by a visionary producer/director/creator...."

"The Preacher"
Well I realize that the tape is always rolling (we discussed that in an earlier March posting), and it's OK. In Truman's world he was the only one who wasn't acting. In my clergy-hubby world very few people are.

What this means is that there's no script, no rehearsal, no "cut", no "re-take", and no way of having any clue as to what the next few minutes, or hours, or days will bring. This means my relationship with God has to be authentic, and ongoing, and constantly renewed.

The point - I believe - of being leaders in any church is to demonstrate what it means to be a faithful follower of Jesus and to encourage others along the way. 

Now, listen closely. Being a faithful "Follower of The Way" is not the same as "The preacher's family should be perfectly well-behaved, look squeaky-clean, keep an immaculate house, and live like poster-children for the Perfect Christian Family of the Year award."

Oh, please... G-M-W-A-S! (Feel free to work that one out for yourselves - it involves nausea and silverware!)

The lesson of Joseph the Dreamer is the The-Lord-Was-With-Him constant. What any congregation should witness in the preacher's family is faithfulness in the midst of struggle. That means not being afraid to cry in church and to ask for prayer when things are difficult. It means honesty about our own doubts and challenges. It's about falling flat on our faces sometimes but at the same time making it clear that God is with us.

God's faithfulness is a standard that calls to our own faithfulness - not our perfection!

I am a work in progress. Sometimes I'm just a piece of work. Rebekah is an amazing minister, but the real power of her witness is in the authentic, ongoing, dynamic friendship she has with God. That's what sustains us, not looking good and smiling cheesy smiles while flashing our perfect front. Otherwise we'd be just like those cheap strip-malls with fancy-looking facades designed to make any dump look classy from the street.

We follow Jesus, while in moment-by-moment reality we're often a few steps behind. But it's about the authenticity of the relationship, not the false appearance that everything is always picture perfect. 

Our prosperity comes in terms of knowing that God is with us. In terms of that truth, we're loaded.

A slice of fpcBrandon life

No comments:

Post a Comment