One of the instructors at my Bible college was on furlough from missionary work in Bolivia. She brought insight and wisdom to a bunch of kids with mush for brains. We loved the Lord with all our hearts but still were a part of the 60’s attitudes in which we were raised and couldn’t help being under the influence now and again. The passion of the day translated into our passions as Christians. In other words, we were determined to set the established church on its collective ear. We were going to fix it, thank you very much. But, it’s not broken, baby girl. Never mind. Church isn’t hot enough. It’s not cool, not ….. us. It’s dull. We wanted to restyle the faith. Eventually the church was restyled. That was 1969. The Jesus People movement did the changing — with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course.
One of our concern was with our perceived holiday hypocracy. “Why make a big deal out of Christmas and Easter and not for the rest of the year? It’s nothing but a show.” Becasue, those two Sundays might be the only two chances in a year’s time to present the gospel to holiday Christians.
And this is good. The place was packed. They couldn’t have all been regulars and those that weren’t have good reason to return, fully understanding that this was a special event. I guess people are smarter than I gave them credit in 1969. The point of the show is to not the performance for performance’s sake, but to concentrate the message in such a way as to drive home a point with force. And this also is good with not a trace of cynicism.
There’s a saying about the nordic of the north. When they hear something really, really funny, they smile as hard as they can. Our Resurrection celebration was almost more than I could contain in a standing position and limit myself to just singing. When the last note was sung, I did my little joy jig toward stage right and was later questioned by another choir member why I didn’t step down off the riser and go for it during the service. Cords. Mikes. People. I need space. Beverly Zoppa is no longer with us to carry that responsibility at the back of the sanctuary worship center and when you remember her energy, even with the chemo to slow her down, you have to hope Heavenly mansions have ceilings.
Sunday was a blow-out. Yes, I wish every Sunday could be a production like that. Yes, I know it would be a drain on one little worship leader. Yes, I also realize the need for variation, different strokes and all that. Maybe I’ll just have to sit in the back once in a while — you know, the jiggity-joy section.