Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Rare Appearance by Hefe

I know I am barely ever here - I'm like that weird uncle that just stops by from time to time. But today I have to vent a little, and I can't do it here (at church in my office).

Of course you all know what we commemorate today...

That's right, the Day of Pentecost. The day that the Spirit was given to the disciples, and through that fire, 3,000 people were saved. In one day, from one kickin spirit-filled sermon. Of course, not a single person here knows that (Baptists are a little wary of Pentecost), but a few people were very upset that we didn't sing a "Patriotic Hymn" this morning. As far as I can tell, our chairman of deacons left and did not attend services this morning.

It was about 8:30 that people started shuffling in to the church for the 9:00 service, and I wagered on how long it would be until someone saw the order of service and asked why there was no song for Memorial Day. I won at 12 minutes. Not a record, but still pretty fast.

NO one asked on May 5th why we didn't sing a Cinco de Mayo song. Bastille day was pretty silent around here. St Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day - nothing. But on Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Veteran's Day, Labor Day - you can be guaranteed that someone will want a patriotic song. If only I got that many Sundays off for vacation, I would take every single one and go to a Lutheran Church where they know better.

SO some questions that help guide what we sing about:
(1) Who are we singing to?
(2) Would saints from past generations be able to sing alongside of us?
(3) Would my Christians brothers and sisters around the world join in the songs?
(4) Can I point to a specific passage of Scripture that inspired the song?

In short, these questions help to make sure that our worship is centered around the common experience of all followers of Christ in all places for all time. The experience of Jesus Christ and His life, death, & resurrection. The experience of being one of God's, chosen by grace. The celebration of the ages - the songs we would sing in heaven around the throne. And I'm pretty sure the Star-Spangled Banner doesn't fit the bill.

OK, I feel better now. Enjoy the blessed day we celebrate the Pentecost. May the Spirit dwell richly in you today, and enable you to do good works in the name of our Lord.