Mission Statement

Cyber Sabbath's goal is to begin to mend the division between Christ and the world (society) that Church has created through reflections, sermons and devotionals

Cyber Sabbath is a place for the stifled Christian voice to be heard. Media gives way to much time to the extremist - over looking the theologically educated and/or the moderates in favor of what sells their view point. Here, politics aside, a pastor reflects on God's voice in every day life.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Finding Waldo in the Choas

So for the past year I have been progressively more silent.  One truth to this was the period of time in which I didn't have internet at our house until Frontier got their act together, but the reality is I've had internet for months now and still haven't found time to post.

In part it is because I have felt that big sense of "what's the point?"  In living in the reality of the aftermath of a failed called (for layman's turns being forced to resign) and the financial, emotional and all the other side effects of this.  On some days this has made me realize that most people are right - there is just no hope for our churches and on other days think about our all too familiar Easter passage.  The day after Jesus rose, he find his disciples, all but Thomas, in a locked room.  He gave them the Holy Spirit encouraged them to go and spread.  However one week later Jesus found them in same place yet this time with Thomas.  Thomas has been labeled "the doubter" but obviously the other disciples were so moved by their encounter that they did everything they could - note the sarcasm.   Yet Jesus didn't give up on them, he didn't say what a worthless bunch of people I called to follow me and I taught for a long time; and here they are in fear and grief immobilized.

For those that God calls as leaders of church at this time, we are aware that the job is not an easy one.  churches are in decline and in fear they are reacting instead of responding.  Churches are sitting in and reliving unhealthy relationship; often failing to look inward.  Instead they are allowing bullies to kick out the leadership; which in many examples no one actually allowed to lead.  Our churches are full of chiefs and people who want the power but also full of people with no time to actually do everything they commit to and not enough followers to support their ideas.

But the biggest problem is that although God might not have given up on church, plenty of people have.  Plenty of pastors and other leaders, plenty of our younger generation, plenty of our current children haven't stepped into a church.  But God is like the "Where's Waldo" books of my childhood - God is always there, we just need to find God.  Unfortunately, church in general cannot get their act together long enough to show the world what God looks like - without knowing what Waldo looks like - could you find him?  I think not! 

As I welcome my new role as Chaplain and take a step back from "church" I miss church on the days when I know the powerful impact a meaningful worship service can have on a congregation.  I miss the power of the Holy Spirit working in a church meeting to reveal a new mission that no one thought of before hand.  And yet I don't miss the bullies who push for their way to be the only way and don't even pray before they make that claim.  I don't miss the barely believers who protect the "clubness" of the church because this is where their friends are - and yet when they are in need they don't turn to their church or those friends because they can't be real with each other.  I don't miss the meetings in which money is the determining factor of us doing the right thing.

And in my new job, I find the freedom and joy of the Spirit moving in and through me.  I am touched each and every moment I walk into the Skilled Nursing Home and know that my presence will make a difference on someone.  I am stuck with the prayers that come to me and that in one day I may pray with more people then I did in my 3 years of church ministry combined.  Which is sad, not for the wonderful people and families I pray with but for the state of our churches.

I find my calling to be helping to reveal to people what God feels and looks like so that they can recognize the divine working in their lives, especially when those lives get crazy.

This past year - plus the year before hand - has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, if it wasn't for my faith I know that I would not be healthy right now.  If it wasn't for my faith I wouldn't be in a place were I should or even could be leading people in ministry.  And yet, some how, God's presence has never left.  Sometimes I wonder why and think of course there is no hope for your churches.  We are just on a constant witch hunt to hang someone for our own downfalls instead of owning our own issues!  And yet, God hasn't given up on us.  the Holy Presence can always be found, now matter how difficult life is.

Our call then, as Christians, is to reveal the presence of God to people - to be the example so they know what it looks like.  We couldn't find Waldo without the picture of what he looks like.  We can't find God in the darkest of our lives, if we don't know what the presence of God feels like.  Our Churches still have a mission from God, we may be so consumed by other things right now - like fighting, ruling and basic muck making but soon we will realize the error of our ways and change.  Soon we will realize - even if that takes many more people to leave our churches or even if that takes many more churches to die.

Some of us leaders aren't ready to give up yet.