How we meet Jesus - or don't
I worshipped yesterday in a Catholic cathedral in
After breakfast Sunday morning my friends asked me if I wanted to go to the central section of
I asked my friend why there are so few young people and he had no answers. My own thoughts are that though the experience was powerful and deeply engaging for my own heart, the power came because I already have a context into which I can place everything that’s happening, along with a deep desire to worship Jesus and meet him there. Perhaps when those things are already present, these kind of places can be incredibly powerful, even with the language barrier.
Unfortunately, for the vast majority of people, the story of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and planned restoration of all things is either not known, or understood, or believed, or compelling enough of a story to invite real relationship and response. When Jesus as a reality and His kingdom as a hope is missing from one’s heart, worship would be, at best, an aesthetic experience, at worst a boring scam.
We evangelicals work hard to overcome some of these problems by making Jesus and his teachings incredibly relevant, digestible, and practical. But often in the process we’ve stolen any sense of mystery or transcendence or even beauty from the worship experience. Such robbery is shameful at many levels. What’s needed isn’t a dumbing down of worship, but an interpretation of the experiences and symbols for the uninitiated, coupled with sound teaching of the grand stories of the Bible and what they can mean for us today.
What do you think? Has the pendulum swung too far from mystery and beauty because of our addiction for practicality and relevance? What’s the best way to strike the balance? What does it mean to worship in spirit and in truth? I’m hoping you’ll respond – we need some dialogue on this blog!