Monday, October 24, 2011

God carries us, we do not carry him

Our churches, on the whole, are tired.
Over a long decline, there is a sense that we are walking into a cultural exile.
Though we are wearied with many burdens, I want to suggest that the heaviest burden, and the one we should first cast away, is God. We must throw off the great weight of responsibility to carry God to the nations, to bear God into future generations. This isn't some liberal call to embrace the death of God, but it is Isaiah's call to trust a living God.
In Isaiah 46, God contrasts himself with the idols Bel and Nebo. The idols are born on the shoulders of men, they are loaded onto weary beasts, unable to save the burden, because they themselves are part of the burden.
YHWH however, has carried his people Israel from the beginning. He bore them in the womb and will prop them up as they grow old and gray.
He is not carried along by the whim and caprice of history, but himself bears, carries and drives history. There is none like him, who declares the end from the beginning.

The despondency, frantic activity and weariness of our churches unmasks a fundamental idolatry. We think we need to carry God. Instead we should rest in his promise
"I made you, and I will carry you; I will bear and save you"

1 comment:

Mike B said...

Yes. It's so depressing, this constant search for the magic bullet that will save our churches. And this constant, subtle insinuation from just about every corner (including our own hearts) that we're not doing enough.

I think our churches should in some sense be places (or communities) of rest. Obviously people have to do stuff, but it should be like a Christmas lunch or something - everyone pitches in a bit so everyone can have a good time. But often going to church is like visiting a really annoying relative - you go because you have to, but you know it's just gonna be draining.

Hope I'm not getting carried away here, but in my opinion you've touched on a pretty important issue.