Burst her seams to breaking
Rattling windows, shaking doors
She must get out; he will get out
Grace engorged and gouged with God.
See [name of your church] where it stands
One structure among, perhaps, but no
Mark its life; follow its promise
Filling futures with the fired breath of God.
Stretching, distending its inhabitants
Pushing headlong into Divine
Dare come as one but leave united
Wounded ’round with One like God.*
Mere wood and stone yet its ground is holy
Refusing ramparts, its surrounding sway
Wrapping ’round each willing person
Raising reality to the heights of God.
At once human, at once Divine
Sin-stained legions pack its walls
To watch Spirit swallow low expectations
To hear that rumbling laughter of God.
*cf. Revelation 1:13
Focusing on Jesus … every Sunday
We go to church to find Jesus there, as if He were hiding behind the altar, crouched down behind the communion rail. He must laugh at our seeking, we who carry Him within us, each of our hearts a tabernacle, as full of Him as any saint, if we would only recognize our divine cargo!
And oh! how I needed Him this past Sunday!
I walked down the hallways of my church and hoped to meet Him. And I did: in Donna who came ‘round the corner and greeted me with her smile and a hug. And there Hewas again in Joe, who looked to tease and cause a laugh. I ventured further down the hall and found Rowan, just two, who cannot comprehend a world without mystery, without wonder to be explored and marveled in. He was a good reminder where my mind should be.
On Jesus. On giving and receiving. On being Him.
We don’t have to wait for the opportunity; it is everywhere, in every time, even when we are alone, but especially at church. We get to slip into Him and sit with Him a bit. Watch with Him. The Word … always speaking, always creating, always transforming, even in our down times.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and return not thither but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)
We are a privileged people. We are participants in this salvation history, partakers and participants. We get to help bring the kingdom to the world. We get to bring the Word and exemplify it.
It is metaphor, yes, but metaphor is far from passive. God moves in metaphor. God fulfills metaphor.
So, yes, we must continue to watch for Jesus when we come to church. God laughs because we are awake and willing! There is no more powerful human being than he or she who seeks and takes hold of what is found!
If we look for Jesus, we will find Him. There is no mistaking this. The example is there, in our churches, in the pews, on the altars, in the hallways. In you. In me.
May we remember.