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The past few months, I have really wrestled with some big thoughts. All centering around the question: What is the purpose of Sunday morning church? What is the reason for it? What "should" it look like?
In my thoughts about the individual relationships with Jesus, it's there where I believe I have found somewhat of an answer. It's in corporate worship and encounters where we discover who Jesus is to other people. We can see it in the way they encounter Him. We can learn more about Him through how others talk about Him, worship Him, encounter Him. We can learn more about other people in that as well. And we can even learn more about ourselves as we come together before the King because we better understand our own personal relationship with Him.
And it's there where I think many people in the Church can get so hung up. They want it to be right for everyone; they want to create a place where everyone encounters Jesus at the same time and seemingly in the same way. But that's really an absurdity in itself. The word "honor" gets thrown around a lot without a clear definition of what it is. Going out of your way to "honor" the offended is a false honor. It is called fear of man. If you are in line with the Father, your way IS His way, and His ways are better than man's ways. Jesus is perfectly relational. He knows each of our needs. He knows how each of us best receives and gives love. He knows our passions, our giftings, our hearts. He knows how to speak to us. He knows how to woo us. He knows when to be silent and let us put all of our cards on the table and He knows when and how to correct us. He knows how close we are to Him. He knows our biggest struggles, our greatest battles and our most painful wounds. He does not get offended at us, nor does He get confused by our actions. He is not surprised by our struggles. He is not hurt by our doubt. He is perfectly faithful and kind. He is perfect love. He does not try or expect to encounter each of us in the exact same way; with the same love, yes, but that likely will not look the same from one person to the next.
If we can still our offenses and fears and fully pursue the King who is worthy, we will discover a better understanding of one another and Him. We will learn the group dynamic. We will see how gracious and loving and kind and wonderful our Jesus really is. We will watch in wonder and awe, and we will fall even more in love. It's not about who is to the left or to the right; it is about Him who is on the Throne and seeking His face and discovering His extravagance. So arise, "you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed" (Rom. 13:11)! Chase after Him! Abandon your defenses. Love Him with a love that is your own and in a way that only YOU can. Learn from others, not through judgement but through excitement as you watch your Best Friend love another perfectly. Find the greatest love of your life and go deeper and deeper and deeper into it because it is all about Him. It is now only about Him. And He's worthy of that.