The scene is set with a homogeneously universal welcome to the service. In some places with a booming voice scattering the demons of hell before ushering in God’s presence, others with catchy and techy millennially appropriate entrées into the service after the coffee and donut appetizers in the foyer; and others yet with hushed ecclesiastical tones ushering God’s people in terms apropos for such a ‘holy’ convocation. I veer from generalities to focus on my fork at the crossroads the nondenominational arm, which by its very appellation is dissonant with the message of The Cross by its non-committal stance with regards to radical faith, which is the hallmark of Christ’s ministry.
Now please ‘hold your horses’ defenders of the faith and walk this path with me.
After sparing an appropriate 10-15 minutes for worship music which today, minus some phenomenal minstrels of God is more about who God is and what He does for us, rather than magnifying Him so that we can press in beyond his arm, to His face. Then comes the announcements and never to be omitted offering time, the latter which is sacrosanct lest one becomes relegated to the dungeon of poverty for a lifetime sentence. Never mind that the richest people in the world regarding monetary wealth are not Pentecostal, denominational or non-denominational Christians (Figure that one out) and lest you miss out on the transfer of wealth that is soon to happen – hogwash!
Then (drumroll please!) Comes The Sermon, which in many cases regardless of the topic, invariably incorporates painting you as a heretical villain if you do not part with a percentage, or all of your dollars. Then comes the wrap-up: a climactic or anticlimactic as the case may be, benediction and closing.
At this point, please nod your head once (to avoid detection) if the above is a true representative of the state of affairs.
Now, this is my question – Where stands The Bible in all this? Is it in Homogeneity or diversity, Conformation or Reformation, Dogma, or Spirit?
Do we come away from these gatherings full of God or fed with what God can do for us? If it is the former, I have no iron to sharpen. But if the latter, please let iron sharpen iron because my dear friend that profile may need some chiseling!
God cannot be homogenized into formulaic worship sets. He needs to be known before we can FULLY experience Him…
The Bible – is it a promise book/ slot machine/ solution finder/pillow augmenter? Yes, yes, yes and yes! But The Bible is so much more! This fact we know, but in what way?
As I sat here a few minutes ago, the title words floated into my mind, and I immediately knew that The Spirit had something to say and it is this: The Bible is not a way for us to learn about God, it is an introduction, yes! An INTRODUCTION to who God is! The limitations of my ignorance and experience hinder me from full expressivity regarding this topic that has chosen me, but The Spirit of God is speaking so I will write.
God cannot be homogenized into formulaic worship sets. He needs to be known before we can FULLY experience Him, and the only way is to have a personal relationship not with our pastor or church members or even God’s promises, but a communion with the mind of God, and introduction into the holy echelons of The deep things of His Spirit. The same ‘Deep’ that He spoke of in Genesis. The same Deep that remains dark to earthly existence unless He makes the pronouncement “let there be light!” And illumination is that which then illuminates the deep things of God as it hovers over the Waters (Word of God) to create out of the deep and unseen the things we come to perceive in the ‘seen’ realm. This knowing cannot be apprehended except in and through the solitude of communion with God. It is not in the thunder; it is not in the rain, it is in the still small voice whispering mysteries of God and His love for us into our ears.
To know God is to walk alone with Him Like Abraham, Jacob, Paul, and the earthly Jesus did, and as our souls yearn to do because we KNOW, it is the only way.
So today I hear the Spirit saying, “Come away my beloved, away from the noise and the things that clamor for attention in your souls. Come away and spend some time with me.” If you each come away with me and then come together to fellowship with your brethren, imagine how glorious it would be as we each begin to unwrap our treasures and our experiences with Him. What days of rejoicing we would have and as The Bible says there would be no need for any man to say “know thy God” for we would all know Him in our own personal way, from the least to the greatest.
Step aside as Moses did, take off your sandals – that which signifies our walk on physical earth and stand on Holy Ground, unhindered by anything man-made (sandals and all). Spend some time with The Word as revealed by His Spirit so that we may begin to know as we are known.
© AdePero Mettabel 05.29.17.
Never apologize for being the ‘you’ God has made you… The incontrovertible truth is that God knows what He’s about. We – each and every one of us were created artfully, masterfully, intentionally, purposefully, delightfully, and forethoughtfully, to live worshipfully and powerfully as we were destined to ‘BE’!
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there! I am celebrating every woman who has birthed a child and those who WILL in time birth their children in its own beautiful time.
Every year in congregations, we celebrate this day, and I hear a lot of speeches that celebrate mothers and pray for all the ‘mothers to be,’ or ‘seekers of the fruit of the womb.’
In God’s Kingdom, however, there are no ‘mothers to be’ or ‘seekers of the ‘fruit of the womb’ (yeuch – don’t like that phrase sorry 🙂 ) this is because God finished the work of creation in The Beginning. He has ALREADY created every human being that will ever live!
So my dear mom out there, whether your child is on yet on earth or not. If God has called you a mother, you ARE a mother!
This faith that we have is the reason why God did not tell Sarai to call herself ‘Mother of all nations TO BE,’ He told her to change her name to reflect who she is – SARAH – Mother of all Nations!
In God’s Kingdom everything is timeless, so if you are a mother in God’s eternal Kingdom you are a mother on earth.
This is your reason to judge Him faithful by calling yourself who you are, calling those things which be not (but ‘are’ in God’s Kingdom) as though they are (on earth). Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
I pray Kairos moments today for every woman who needs to give birth, (either through their birth canal or another’s determined be God to be destined to them) to realize that TODAY, they CAN ‘birth’ those children by declaring the Truth of who they are.
Again Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there! And that includes you, ma’am, because a mother is not who you WILL BE, a mother is who YOU ARE!
Please share with all the mothers you know… Thank you.
That’s just the way it is; Things may not always be the way they seem.
Sam. What can I say? He was the most beautiful thing my twenty-one-year-old eyes had ever laid eyes on: tallish, mocha skin, and a killer smile. I was an intern at the University Teaching Hospital. The first time I saw him, he was flirting with the nursing students, and it seemed that every time I saw him, he was always walking aimlessly around the medical ward, chatting up girls and generally clowning around. I really didn’t know why he was always around, but he just always was. A few months passed by, and I occasionally would see Sam and would always make some pithy statement about him. I just didn’t like him, for no apparently clear reason. He seemed so cocky and so full of himself.
On the first day of my internal medicine rotation, we were assigned patients, and life went on as usual. Then, one day, a new patient appeared on my list. His name was Sam Thomas. (Note: I had seen Sam around but did not yet know his name.) When I finally discovered this patient was the same man, I was at first surprised because I had never seen him in a hospital gown. To prepare myself for rounds and familiarize myself with the case, I picked up his chart and got a huge shock. This golden boy, this Adonis, was dying! He was in the final stages of acute leukemia, and his bone marrow, the part of the bone that produces blood, had burnt out. His only hope of staying alive was the transfusions that he had to have every three to four weeks, while hoping against hope for a miracle.
I was devastated. And I felt horrible for misjudging this man. He was only trying to make the best of a very bad situation. You see, he was an only child, and his dad was not in the picture, so his mom was the only constant support he had. However, he didn’t let that get him down. Instead, he was always trying to make other people laugh and always had a smile on his face.
I cried that day, but I had to dry my tears because I had a job to do. I was on my internal medicine rotation for three months. Some of the time, Sam was my patient, and at others, I just took care of him while I was on call. Needless to say, we became quite close and developed a deep friendship. I was privileged enough to be a part of the process that led to him accepting Jesus into his heart. I would sometimes go just to visit, and we would spend hours just talking– about our faith, about life.
Sadly, Sam didn’t get better, despite all the treatments and prayers. After a while, he just stayed admitted because his need for transfusions was growing. One day I got called to the floor because a patient was not doing well. It was Sam. He had developed complications and was not expected to live much longer. There was not much I could do, but we talked until he could no longer speak. I just held his hand, and I don’t know whether it was a few hours or a lot of hours, but Sam died that night. He didn’t look too pretty, but his face was so beautiful because he died with a smile on his face.
I know I will see Sam again someday. But as I remember him today, I remember a courageous, generous, and beautiful child of God, and I remind myself that not all that seems to be is. The real miracle was the beauty of Sam’s life and all the people he touched with his laughter and with love.
So, Sam Thomas, I remember you with love today, and I celebrate all twenty-two years of your life. You touched my life for all time. Salute, my friend. I will see you again.
** This is a true story, but the names have been changed to preserve privacy.
© The Voice of One Woman by Mettabel Okulaja, MD, Xulon Press 2013