Archive for August 11th, 2008

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We choose to be real

August 11, 2008

The following is something I wrote for a devotional for our ministry at Sunset.  The phrase “We choose to be real” will be the phrase we adopt this year in our ministry and really shape what we do around it.

You come into church and take your seat. No one knows the day or week you had, but it has left you numb. You see the words on the screen, you hear the music, but nothing is stirs inside, it bounces off the walls around your heart. The woman on your left has her eyes closed and hands raised with tears coming down and you think to yourself, “What’s wrong with me?”

Or maybe you arrive at church or small group, and you just need someone to care, someone to notice that you are hurting in some way. You make small talk with a few people who ask how you are, to which you routinely answer, “Fine.”

Or maybe it’s Monday, and the day before you had with all your heart sang songs of commitment before God about giving Him your life. But now you are back at school, or back on the job, and thoughts or speech betray you before its even lunchtime, and you feel hopeless to live a life that reflects what deep down you believe.

Perhaps you look at your Christian life, and suddenly it feels like it’s in a box of just things to check off to feel good about yourself, and has no impact on the community or world around you. You can’t stand it anymore, and want something deeper, more dangerous, than what you have been experiencing.

I think if we’re honest, if we’re real, we can all identify with one or all of those scenarios at many times in our journey. But we RARELY discuss these things together. So often we choose to stay on the surface, to put on a facade of joy and to settle for the same, the easy, and the comfortable.

This year, in our ministry, what God is stirring in my heart so strongly can be summed up in this phrase, “We choose to be real”.

We choose to be real before God about where we are before Him. We will bring Him our questions, our hurts, our joys and our praise. We choose to acknowledge when our hearts are hard and we are struggling to praise. We choose to acknowledge when we’ve sinned and are in need of forgiveness. We choose to let our joy show for our forgiveness, and for answered prayer, and when we feel the joy of God in our hearts.

We choose to be real with one another. Real about our lives, about our struggles, and about our questions. We will choose to go beyond surface with one another because we are family, a church family, because we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We choose to show real love to one another, even when it’s hard.

We choose to be real about our desire to be more than just a Sunday hour of religion, because we know if that is all we are, we are not real. We choose to find out how we can be Jesus with our whole lives, outside of these walls. We choose to be real before our community. Because they need to see realness, because they will relate to realness, because it will show them the presence of God in our lives, and make it real for them to experience that too. We choose to make Sunday’s worship a snap shot of a real life lived in worship the rest of the week.

We choose to be real. Will you go on this journey with me?