Posted by Pastor Stuart

Church shouldn’t be boring. Worship shouldn’t be boring. It’s intended to help people connect and communicate with the Creator of the universe. So if anything, it should be the complete opposite of boring.

As a minister and someone who helps in planning our church worship, I admit that it’s a rather hard thing to do to plan something incredible. You can’t just print in the bulletin, “Hymn. Offering. Prayer. Mind-blowing Divine encounter. Another hymn.”

I want to help stoke the fire’s of people’s spiritual engagement with God in a non-boring way so that they can open their eyes to spiritual living that’s filled with miracle and wonder. That’s what I think good church should do; it’s just hard to do it. But maybe before we look at our faith expression as a community, we need to look at our faith expression as individuals. Is it boring?

I read a great article in the New York Times recently about inspiring more awe in our faith, and it had a great quote from a rabbi named Abraham Joshua Heschel: “Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement, get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal. To be spiritual is to be amazed.” Great!

Unfortunately, Rabbi Heschel recognizes that “the faith expressed by many is often dull, oppressive and insipid–a religiosity in which ‘faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion.'” Not great!

That’s sad but true. Partly out of practicing our faith only as habit, and partly out of selfishly wanting to stay in our comfort zones, many churches become rigid, uncaring, and uninspiring. That’s why, when “secular people are asked by researchers to give their impression of the faithful, the words that come up commonly include ‘judgmental,’ ‘hypocritical,’ ‘old-fashioned’ and ‘out of touch.'” Yikes! That means we’re not doing a great job of being salt and light for an empty, dark world.

So here are two things to (hopefully) help inspire and enliven you today:

1. A wonderful moving song by the Christian musician Audrey Assad (see lyrics below):

2. And a quote from St. Augustine 1700 years ago about what he means when he says that he loves God: “It is not physical beauty nor temporal glory nor the brightness of light dear to earthly eyes, nor the sweet melodies of all kinds of songs, nor the gentle odor of flowers, and ointments and perfumes, nor manna or honey, nor limbs welcoming the embraces of the flesh; it is not these I love when I love my God. Yet there is a light I love, and a food, and a kind of embrace when I love my God–a light, voice, odor, food, embrace of my innerness, where my soul is floodlit by light which space cannot contain, where there is sound that time cannot seize, where there is a perfume which no breeze disperses, where there is a taste for food no amount of eating can lessen, and where there is a bond of union that no satiety can part. That is what I love when I love my God.”

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Lyrics for “I Shall Not Want” by Audrey Assad:

From the love of my own comfort
From the fear of having nothing
From a life of worldly passions
Deliver me O God

From the need to be understood
From the need to be accepted
From the fear of being lonely
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God

And I shall not want, I shall not want
when I taste Your goodness I shall not want
when I taste Your goodness I shall not want

From the fear of serving others
From the fear of death or trial
From the fear of humility
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God


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