Archive for July, 2011

Receivers or Reproducers?

What’s the good word? I recently ran across a new phrase, “Are we receivers of God’s word or are we reproducers of God’s word? Interesting thought. Let me illustrate further what is meant by that. Imagine that you are in a third world country and you are teaching God’s word to a group of church leaders. As you teach, they are intently taking down every word you say. They are writing furiously. They come up to you afterward and say, “We are going to take everything we have learned from God’s word and translate it into our languages and then teach it to our tribes.” Now I use this example because this truly happens. I have read about where it happens, and I have seen it myself while in Costa Rica on a mission trip.

Now journey with me to an average contemporary worship gathering. Some people have their Bibles open, while other’s don’t even have one with them (the reason I’m pro having Bibles available in worship). A few people are taking notes, and others are listening, while others are thinking about what they are going to have for lunch. The reality is few are listening to reproduce, they are simply only receiving. We are by nature, receivers. Even if we have a desire to learn, we still listen from a default mindset where we are always asking, “What can I get out of this?” And very rarely do we reproduce. Jesus did speak about bearing good fruit, and isn’t that what we want to do anyway? I mean, if the goal is not to reproduce good fruit, in my mind, what’s the point? But what if we began to ask the question, “How can I listen to God’s Word so that I am equipped to teach God’s Word to others?” That changes everything! When we realize we have the responsibility to teach the Word, it changes everything about how we hear the Word. Hmmm, very interesting thought. It has me pondering. What are your thoughts? And that’s the good word for today!

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A Funny Thing Happened

What’s the good word? A funny thing happened this past week, I went back to camp. I got to spend a week out at Lutherhill with our confirmation students as they took part in Lutherhill’s first year of doing Service Camp. It was a wonderful experience for our students as they truly learned and lived out our purpose statement as a congregation Grow in God’s word, Show Christ’s Love, and Go in Service. What a theme they had this year as well. The theme for the week was “Love Wins”, and yes it is based on Rob Bell, but not his book. He actually had a sermon series by the same name and this Bible Study theme was based on. Every time the counselors needed to get the campers attention they would yell, “What wins?” and the campers would yell back, “Love wins!” How awesome! On Thursday it all came to a head as campers heard how love wins in the end with the death and resurrection of Jesus. I had the privilege of giving the message that evening. We started the night with a worship at Triple Cross. It’s message was the crucifixion of Jesus. At the end of worship we were led out singing “Sanctuary”. The words are “Oh Lord prepare me, to be a sanctuary. Pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living, sanctuary, for you.” We sang that all the way to the indoor chapel. Once there, we heard the story of the resurrection and as the reader said, “Here ends the reading,” the dance lights came on and the weekly dance began. Little did they know they were still worshipping. How ingenious, I thought. It’s truly what our response should be each day as we live in the hope of the resurrection. As those, chosen as Christ’s followers, as we live in the power of the resurrection, I told them to keep the party going (and that I had never seen Lutherans move like that before, nor had I ever seen Lutherans dance in worship!!) May this tiny lesson learned from an out of the box worship at camp, show all of us the reason we have to party! Why? Because love always wins! And that’s the good word for today!

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