Worship and Community: Scripture
What imagery does “bible-study” conjure up for you?
An uncomfortably intimate group of five or six people gathered around a semi-circle of plastic fold-up chairs, eating brownies and feigning accountability while the extroverted person in the group asks probing questions from a bible verse that seem to careen into a wall of silence before dying expectedly. Was this what they meant when they told me they were “going deep”?
A college lake trip (if you’ve gone with us) conjures up a different scene.
It brings thoughts of wake-boarding, tri-tip, laughing with people who make things worth laughing about, late nights, transformation, early mornings, renewal, coffee by the waterfront, suntans, new friends, watermelon games, the presence of Jesus, the only time you’ll ever get 70 of your friends to an In-N-Out, community meals, worship, pancakes, new friends, baptisms, finding new ways to patch up Sea Doo wounds, turning ordinary things into extraordinary experiences, finding God in a different way than you did back at home, crying and smiling at the same time, mixing the best of both worlds, eternal and material. Plainly, you come back home with a story.
A “college lake trip,” then, conjures a story from the archives that is forever sealed in your memory because it’s one you never want to forget.
Our problem with Bible study is that we lack imagination. We don’t get pulled into the story enough to live the story.
The difference between the first example and the last example I gave are both staggering and depressing, if only because the former is often how we view and treat any written revelation of knowing God.
Our concept of “Scripture” is often rigid, uncreative, and uninvolved.
Do not forget that the Scriptures are a divinely authored testimony of the living Word, Jesus Christ.
Both of them are dynamic, especially when applied to life shared in community. Consider Paul’s famous exhortation on corporate worship to the Colossian church,
Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts (Colossians 3:16, NLT).
Paul sounds like he’s describing a college lake trip more than a cheesy semi-circle. It’s a scene that’s dynamic, real, and applied. The scriptures are a story, after all; and the best stories engage you. They animate your thought life, and perforate your normal conversations, while causing you to empathize with its main characters in all the subtle, yet meaningful details of your life. They transform you via supernatural revelation from God to mere human being.
Must the Word of God be so uneventful unless spoken of on a Sunday morning?
Is the Word of God transforming your life?
- Missional Millennials: Worship through Identity (Part 1) (christopherlazo.com)
- Corporate Worship and the Sacraments [beware of tangents] (christopherlazo.com)
Posted on July 6, 2011, in community, sermons, worship and tagged bible study, Body of Christ, corporate worship, scripture, small groups, worship, worship in community. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off.