Sunday, September 23, 2012

Come on, Church, Get Real!

I’m Blogging on the eighth track of Michael’s soon to be released cd, Sound Manifesto, a song called “Dream Within Your Dreams,” a song that is a response to Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, “A Dream Within a Dream.” As Michael moves from empathy at the start of the song, to meaningful response, he writes: “We’ve all walked a path ahead/Of where we knew its passage led/When our hope is lost./It’s hard to find/But you can catch it crossing.” One key element of redemptive living and redemptive lyrics is being authentic. This is indeed a broken, fallen world. We are, as CS Lewis once wrote, “glorious ruins.” It will do no good to pretend that pain and heartache and suffering and loss are worldly experiences that Christ-followers somehow magically escape. We ALL walk paths where are our hope seems lost. We ALL face seasons where hope is hard to find. But living with redemptive hope means living in the hope of hope rediscovered. If we truly are gripped by the Gospel, we are able to face hardship without falling into ultimate despair. Michael captures this hope of hope in the line: “It’s hard to find, but you can catch it crossing.” As we continue to walk the path God has for us, as we continue to live by faith, hope will once again cross our path. This is not only important for us to “preach” to ourselves; we must preach it to others…not in a “preachy” way, but in a way that truly offers them hope and strength…even as Michael presents hope to Poe. Unfortunately, many believers do more harm than good by being quick to dish out spiritually-sounding platitudes to fix people, without taking seriously the pain of hope lost and the frustration of hope difficult to find. Christ-followers also do harm to the Kingdom when we try to give the impression that we never struggle with walking paths where hope seems lost. Redemptive lives are authentically honest about the brokenness of life. We acknowledge the struggle to hope in seasons of loss and pain. If the Church would be more authentic, more real, more honest…perhaps the world would find more hope as well.

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