Thursday, October 13, 2011
The other day my phone signal kept disappearing. I was just in my own house, in my own living room, where I normally get perfectly good reception.
And yet, there, in clear letters across my phone screen - no service.
I had no internet that day either.
I felt completely disconnected. And there was nothing I could do about it.
Sometimes I feel like that with God. Like the signal's dropped out.
I know there should be a connection, because I've had it before. Just like normally I get a signal in my living room. But it's gone.
And sometimes it feels like there's nothing I can do about it.
On my phone, I can press all the buttons and reset all the settings as much as I like, but if I'm in a dead spot or the network is down it won't make any difference.
And sometimes it feels the same when I'm trying to talk to God. I can try all the 'buttons' I know - play music, read my Bible, sit quietly, pace, dance or even rage.... but I can still feel like I'm in spiritual dead spot.
And I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling this way - wondering what happened to the signal, and how do you get it back? Is there something wrong with me?
But there's nothing wrong with the phone - it is still functioning. And there's nothing wrong with anyone else's phone. I'm not receiving calls or messages, or getting on the internet. But that's not because people aren't calling or sending, or that the internet has disappeared.
It's the network.
If God is the caller, and my phone is me, then maybe it is the church that is the network. Communication lines are down. The system isn't functioning like it should. We should be in community, in fellowship.
But instead we are all on our own feeling disconnected. Everyone's trying to communicate but nothing is getting through, and so we are isolated.
Church should not be the place we go to look good on Sundays. It shouldn't be the place where we feel like we need to put on a happy face. It shouldn't be the last place people want to go when they are hurting because they fear being judged. It shouldn't be the place where people have replaced how to really talk and listen to God, with rituals and religion and light shows.
We need to get back online. God wants to fix the network for us, if we'll let him.
Maybe, in the mean time while we are figuring out what's one awry, we shouldn't wait for our phones to reset and receive calls again. We should get out of our living rooms and go to where each other are.
Maybe when I feel like I've lost the signal that lets me download that 'Jesus' feeling, I should go out and find Him where he is at. With the people He died for.
Peace and joy. (Romans 5:1-11)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.