Tuesday, July 19, 2011

To Worship Rightly Is to Love Each Other

(This post was written on July 17, but was not posted until July 19.)

today i am returning home from a music conference that i attend each summer, if i am able. some years, there have been date conflicts that have made my attendance impossible, but this retreat is so energizing and enriching, i attend if i possibly can. over the years, i've made many friends who attend regularly, and, even though we don't stay in touch through the months between conferences, as soon as i see them it is as if we are seeing long-lost family members. we spend many hours catching up on what has happened in our lives.

the husband of one of those friends has just lost his job, and earlier in the year she had been pushed out of her church job by an uncaring and insenstive pastor. as we talked, i thought of how often this happens in churches. i am guilty of the same insensitivity. all too often, we come charging into positions in the church thinking we have all the answers, we know how things ought to be done, and, by god, we'll do things OUR ways. i pray that i no longer think in that way, but i know in the past, i've been too certain of my own "rightness" and too indifferent to the opinions and feelings of others.

how sad it is that we, who call ourselves christians, impose our lives on others, rather than heeding Jesus when He says that in order to gain one's life, one must lose it. i am reminded of the dalai lama's words: “This is my simple religion; . . . the philosophy is kindness.” my prayer this day is that we will gain life by losing it in service and that we practice the simple religion of kindness.

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