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My Passion for His Passion

When I was a young girl, I used to visit my Grandparents' church in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. It was a modestly sized church, always warm and inviting. Every year they put on an Easter program that took you through the story - from the last supper all the way through Christ's death and resurrection. My Grandpa routinely played the role of a disciple and recited his one line, "Is it I?" when Jesus tells them that one of the twelve will betray him. Each time I saw him on stage, I was so proud of him. I teared up every time they performed the Ray Bolz classic, "Watch the Lamb," and the actor portraying Jesus, bloodied and stripped down to rags, carried his cross down the sanctuary aisle. These things meant something powerful to me. They reminded me of the immense sacrifice my Savior made so long ago. The mediocre but sincere acting took me back to a time and place so easily forgotten in our modern day lives. They brought me to a place of vivid remembrance and reflection.

My home church where I grew up was a place of passionate, heartfelt worship. You could scarcely set foot into a worship service without sensing the presence of the Holy Spirit. Even if you didn't know who the Holy Spirit was, you felt him. I learned there how to worship with reckless abandon - how to hear the Spirit, to use discernment and to pray for others. This place wasn't without its faults and there were certainly things I questioned. But in all, I credit my emotional connection to my heavenly Father to an environment of rich, Spirit-filled and Spirit-led worship.

I've always approached my relationship with God with a sense of reverence and awe. Given all these things as my background, I struggle with the lack of these things in many churches today. My heart longs for the tender moments in worship and the movement of the power of God. I capture them when I can and I relish them, but they are fewer and further between. There is such a casual nature in which God is addressed and described that tarnishes the celestial magnificence I've always seen. Our culture and our society is so much more likely to address Jesus as their "homeboy" rather than the Savior of the universe who was beaten and bruised for the very sins we continue to commit. It's as if we've molded him into this social media age of convenience and narcissism, assuming that because he is God and he is love, we can do whatever we want to do, say whatever we want to say, and he's cool with it. Because he's not pushy or judgmental or trying to tell us what to do.

I miss the simplicity of the Easter story. One that saves the lost simply because of the story it recounts. The Jesus that is alive today is not here to make us comfortable. He's not here to be plastered on a tee shirt or used in a hashtag. He's not here to condone all of our sinful behavior. He's here to love, to save, to call to action, to service. He's here to be worshipped and praised. He calls us to remembrance - to remember the sacrifice he made on a cross so many years ago. He died so that you and I could live. If that alone isn't enough, then nothing ever will be.


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