Sunday, November 11, 2012

What Sunday Mornings are Supposed to Be About

Trees reflected in my backyard.

The greatest thing that could be said about any Sunday morning church gathering is that, in the gathering, the greatest thing is the experienced presence of God. Forget the sermon or the music or the fellowship. When people say "Surely the Lord is in this place," then the real thing is happening.

People need God's presence, not another performance. God's presence can be mediated through sermons and music and fellowship, but those things are only shadows of the substance that is the Living Jesus.

Listen to how Jame McDonald expresses this in his excellent book Vertical Church: What Every Heart Longs for. What Every Church Can Be.

"Transcendence is the best single word I have found to describe the attributes of God that are found only in Him and what is missing too often from our churches. We are facilitators of transcendence. Our main job is to usher in the Almighty— God forgive us when we have settled for less. When transcendence is welcomed and unveiled, no one even notices the program, the preacher, or other people. Anything resembling performance seems out of place. Because all that is visible is eclipsed by what is not: God Himself moving through the church in power and meeting with His people in manifest ways." (MacDonald, Vertical Church, Kindle Locations 498-502)