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Am I Emergent and other quandries?

By heath - Posted on 05 December 2005

I thought this was pretty funny. I fit some categories and not others. I seem to be a square peg in a round hole pretty much everywhere I go. I felt like that at church today.

We sing a hymn every couple of weeks, but mostly sing songs like anything by Chris Tomlinson, Blessed be the Name, Better is One Day, Grace Flows Down, and the one that set me off today, "You're all I want." Part of the chorus is, "You're all I want. You're all I ever needed. You're all I want. Help me know you are here."

I looked around me at the pretty, well-dressed middle-class congregation and thought, "Baloney," or something to that effect. Half the women in the congregation are paying 3 prices for Arbonne and/or are selling to make a little extra to buy a little extra. Unfortunately, I am not much different. I thought of the rich young ruler in Luke X. He said, "I follow the law completely, so I should be OK with God, right Jesus?" Jesus said, "Since you are a good man and follow the law, I need you to do one thing. It shouldn't be hard for a man who has given all up to God. Sell all you have and give it to the poor."

Now, I agree with most of the people who I have heard teach this. Jesus is not saying everyone must be poor. But it seems like we undercut Jesus when we do not first consider his question. What if he asked me to do this? Is it even on your radar? He did ask someone to do it.

Is Christ really "all we want?" Granted, sometimes we sing in order to move our hearts to a particular place, but I feel like we are so far from this single-minded pursuit. We are weighed down by so many cares of this world. I believe that I am a person who at least seeks to see Christ reign in every nook and cranny, and I even have a hard time singing this without a good dose of confession beforehand. I'd prefer, "Lord, have mercy on me a sinner," first.

This is all complicated by the fact that I have been reading Amos for Advent. Sometimes I think we sound exactly like the Israelites.

I will say that despite the sour mood the singing time put me in, I enjoyed the sermon. I particularly liked Gary's point about fear and trust and about our faith being worthless if God is not in control.

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