Note: This piece is really telling it all…where I was – and OH – HOW I HAVE GROWN! Wow! 30 essays in one months time after this had put me right on track and ready to stop being embarrassed about where I was – and I needed to confess this to put it aside and allow God to work on me – and wow has He ever! Please please please – don’t judge me for where I was – but I hope you can appreciate where I am now and where I am going… because this has been the most amazing experience for me to know and accept Jesus…
Lego Christianity, 18Dec
I have loaded up my brain and my heart with the tenants of my Christian faith for years and years. I have most if not all of pieces, probably lots of duplicates…see they are like Lego pieces, little snippets of scripture, interpretation and beliefs…also included are fluff pieces, good advice and the trappings of the commercialization of Christmas.
I carry these Lego pieces, but I didn’t snap then in yet. They are there but I didn’t have the instructions or maybe I have been purposely ignoring the instructions of how to put them together in the right order. Or maybe struggling to take them out after placing in them in the wrong order. Do you know how hard it is to undo a Lego piece?
Legos in this day and age are no longer sold as loose blocks, like when I was a kid, but instead they are puzzle kits…combining those plastic model aircraft kits of my youth with easy snap into place segments.
One of my joys of putting together those pieces is when I feel and hear the clink clink clink sound when you root around in this big batch of all the random pieces trying to find that next piece…it’s that activity of finding the right piece…a three dimensional physical “I got it” feeling. Then snap, put it into place.
I have had these Lego pieces of Christianity for awhile; just never felt my brain and my heart were in sync. Been recently pondering Christmas and Christ…I spoke in Sunday school to the kids and mentioned that “Christ is Coming” but really He came two thousand years ago and we celebrate his coming…rather than him physically coming every year. Later I was listening to a CD of an advent service from last year, which included a wonderfully moving and spirit-filled sermon of a friend, whose spiritual messages I can relate to. In that service I heard another friend, read the interpretation of the first candle of Advent, HOPE. Paraphrasing what she said…”why is Jesus coming every year? He is coming new to so many people each year…” Oh…wish I had said THAT in Sunday school…that does make sense. Lego piece absorbed…add it to the mix.
I am too busy to attend the church service, I am in the building, mostly with the kids…but when I can, I find the contemporary music and meaning so wonderful. I have been lacking spiritual growth…except for when I prepare UMW, VBS and Sunday school curriculum…
… I had been in that spiritual growth drought for so long that when I realized that God was knocking on my brain to make it catch up with my heart, it caught me by surprise. I was preparing months ago my own Sunday school curriculum for a science-based lesson because I didn’t think there was enough science connection in the lesson about Jesus’ stories…about how his stories were used to encourage non-believers to open their hearts to the existence and good of God.
I incorporated (with a cool messy hands-on experiment) the use of a catalyst… And snap…my deliberate disbelief – questioning Jesus actually being God – maybe he was just another prophet with a good publicist – maybe it’s a great group of stories… well, all that crumbled.. my brain cracked open to the possibility that Jesus was real. It dawned on me that if Jesus was real, maybe God brought him to us to be the catalyst for change. More than just a Lego piece absorbed, more like a Lego piece and one of those green square bases to build things on…
This look for more spiritual growth lately is just like when I took biochemistry in college and had to learn it from the book, self taught, because my professor wasn’t good, I find now that I have to seek out and find my own way spiritually… another friend once said you’ve got a library card now go figure out what book you want to check out…
…I have found help… I have meditated on the scriptures presented within the 4 messages that a new friend, who also is a guest sermonist, delivered. The teachings are not cliff notes for the Bible, they are not like watching a movie to teach the Bible, but the sermons are making the Bible come alive in the context of our lives… in MY life. One sermon on Joseph, one on the great commission… the holy spirit, one on father’s day about “I am the vine, you are the branches” and how God prunes us to bear more fruit, and one on worship:
“Worship, like salvation, is a personal decision. It is an expression of the individual’s relationship with God and it is the spiritual condition of the worshiper that determines whether God is at work. If your worship experience doesn’t change you, you should consider your approach to it. ”
John 4:23 ”Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
And song, “Come to the Cradle come and find peace..” – that is a big Lego piece.
Lego piece accepted.
While making copies of the CDs of these sermons and the church Christmas music for a couple of friends who also don’t get to sit in church, I was checking Facebook. I noticed I was added to a group named “church” from a not so tech savvy friend, who likely confused making a group with a grouped friend lists…oh well…. Anyway, a friends’ son, who is a young new scholar-pastor-dad, posts “what is this???” I jokingly replied that its or mutual friend learning Facebook and playing with the Facebook-time-space continuum. Then I clicked his page to see his posts… I read how he was mourning this Christmas by reading the old prophets telling of the coming of Jesus. I didn’t read the whole post at first (which included so much recent world strife, mass murders close to home) and I messaged him to say “why mourning?”
I give thanks for this little nugget that he gave me to focus my mind on… “What to mourn is the sin and death and injustice in our world, the very reason the world needs a Savior so badly”.
I have has done small and large bursts of spiritual growth over this last year, and it is likely not a coincidence that that statement hits me just right where my thought process is today…big Lego piece accepted.
The previous night I wrote a piece called the Christmas Flood. Speaking to how Christmas is a deluge of rain good rain but too much rain, that could flood us and wash away our carefully planted spiritual seeds in our gardens, unless we prepare for the excess rain and protect ourselves… spiritual uplifting, soaking nutritive rain in the form of His message comes from God but only when we prepare for this rain…then we can let it soak in…
…It was me playing with the Legos of Christianity in my head while writing it… But I was forgetting about Advent being a mini-Lent, a time of repentance and prayer not just for ourselves but for others to give up their bad ways…for us and others to realize that we need Christ to come to save the world… we need His example… we need to absorb and portray His example…. then at Easter, realize He opens our path to heaven…but that can’t happen until He comes to each person first… so yes, Jesus is God and comes each year.
Snap, I put the right Lego piece in, the little ones and the big ones… they fit, they are in the right order now. I need to builds more on them…to wiggle them some to make sure I can fit some other new ones in. You can never be done building… Amen