Many well-meaning evangelicals have tried to sell the Gospel as if it will produce a problem-free life. The positivism of sanitized American Christianity struggles to grasp why the very spiritual King David wrote such negative words in his Psalms (granted there are many positive words, too). There is a place for lamenting and mourning in our lives, but it is not the end. In fact, lamenting is often an essential part of a journey that leads to emotional and spiritual health.
When we encounter works of art we are moved and reminded of other things in our lives. When we hear a symphony we feel the tension of the strings or the whimsy of the melody. When we watch films we are able to relate to characters experiences and empathize with them. When we look at paintings we are able to identify symbols and colors that allude to something unknown. Somehow through viewing a piece of art we are able to experience this feeling of otherness that is difficult to describe and even more difficult to understand. Art lowers our defenses and allows us to see the world in a fresh lens.
Are we close enough with others to hear their cries for reconciliation with God and other people? Do we do the work of listening and allowing them to share about themselves more than we make assumptions about who they are for our convenient categories of description? Do we know what kind of reconciliation the Lord desires in our relationships?
Double reconciliation – to God and others – begets our response as we act as ambassadors for Christ, compelling the world to be reconciled to God.
In many church services, we place a large emphasis on worship, making sure the set list is coherent and flows, practicing the music, getting transitions down right, and so on. Worship music can seem like “the” way to worship when it comes to the spiritual idea of connecting with and giving reverence and praise to God. However, some people really connect with God through modern worship music experiences, some people do not, and that’s a good thing! We each have unique ways in which we worship and connect with God.