Is this all there is?

This morning I’m singing the “What’s it all about, Alfie?” song. What does it mean that we come together as a church? Is this all there is? I want something more dynamic and alive, more connected and contemporary. I am looking for the people with the most depth and capacity for love. I’m looking for the gospel that lives today. I am not satisfied with what we are. Are you? Are we back to where religion fills a neat little niche in our lives and that’s it? Where is the passion and love that Jesus modeled so well? What consumes us? And where do we express the essence of who we are? Is Christianity dead? Or is it a living, breathing organism capable of great things in the power of the Holy Spirit.

I see glimmers of that life and I want to hold onto it; I want to nurture and grow it and clone it and see it everywhere. I want everyone to see the trace that the Holy Spirit leaves as he transforms lives and situations. Like the wind, you can’t see the Holy Spirit, but you know the wind has been there by the rustling of the leaves, the breeze on your face and in your hair and how the branches bend and sway. So it is with the Holy Spirit: you see his traces by the conflict now resolved, the peace in someone’s life, the enlivening of a group, the passion expressed, new abilities and gifts in someone, joy and patience in the face of adversity, and a new hope expressed.

I want the kingdom to come out of hiding among the tares of the world and to shine as a beacon for all of us. I want joy to be the predominant emotion, but for us to embrace patience and love with our neighbors and families. I want us to be more aware of each other, of unspoken needs, of unhealed hurts, of unexpressed hopes and fears. I don’t want to go to another funeral or memorial service and regret that I didn’t know the person as well as I thought, as I hear all the parts of his or her life that I knew nothing about.

I want to live fully. I want to love with overflowing passion. I want to be really connected to my people. I want to feel the pulse of each person, plant, animal and stone that I encounter. I want to live!

Have I built a dam behind which I hide? Have I damned up my emotions and passions and essence to protect them and myself from…..what? If I let the water flow out of the dam will it gush out and totally flood the landscape or will it trickle out through the spillway and just relieve a bit of pressure? We’ve learned that the dams we built on our rivers are often problematic. In our country we are starting to undo those walls. Can we do the same with the dams and walls in ourselves?

What do you want?

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