So I was preaching at Metro last night, When I entered the place was empty save the three people who had arrived ‘early’ that is at 19:00 when the meeting started. The organizers appologizing that there was a hockey game on tonight (Latvia vs. Norway) so it would be a somewhat smaller crowd.
As more people arrived the worship band (surely they had promised there would be a band…), consisting of one guy with a guitarr, started up. People standing fixed in the church pews singing out Halelujah, but sounding more like Hale-not-so-much-jah.
Outside in the streets you could hear bullhorns anouncing that there was a hockey game on. Cars beeping, fans shouting, horns blasting and drunken riotous laughter.
WHY OH WHY? Why is it that the world is allowed to party and have fun, but we, who have true Joy and life from a Holy God can seem to even lift our voices to sing praise to Him. Why is it that all these teenagers looking for salvation in the bottle cannot be shown the fill of the true vine by the people who live in intimacy with the spirit. No wonder that the young generation chooses to go to a hockey game rather than sit in a room with booring people looking like theye sucked on a lemon for a month, not allowing any freedom of movement, emotional or otherwise.
Jesus was moved with passion, why can’t we allow ourselves to be swept away by the torrent of Joy and life from heaven.
Slowly as I opened up with a joke, I got a smile or two from the crowd. I jumped, I shouted, I threw water at them, I even sang silly songs. Drunk, with the fill of the spirit, I let it all out. I opened up the word and showed bit by bit that we are not called to a life of boredom and we are not called to conformity with limiting church traditions but actually called to original, vibrant, dynamic, challenging and adventurous life.
Little by little some of the young people let down their guard and as we closed up after nearly two hours of the challenging, beconing, pleading, demanding, prodding, spurring and sometimes downright silly message, the worship changed, Ever so slightly. A small sliver of hope had crept into the dark hall. Hope that indeed we can be fully free. Hope that we can worship without limit. Pray without restraint and Rejoice like the saved!
Maybe we can see people leave the hockey arena, the bar,and the night club and come to the church to find out what all the ruccous is about! Maybe even in Latvia….