Wednesday, September 2, 2009

That's still the way that he takes to the world

Some challenge and comfort

So, I'm sure I've posted the lyrics here before, and I've been titling my entries from this song "Take To the World" that Derek Webb sings. My friend Emily was just introduced to it a week or so ago and IMed me that she'd gotten pretty obsessed with it and was listening to it on repeat. That conversation about the song sparked this series of posts. This is the fourth and final installment of this four part series, as it were. Not a sermon series on the four (pick a letter) of (pick a word that starts with that letter). I think the song is great because it both poses a challenge to us and encourages us to live that challenge out.

Go in peace to love and to serve
Let your ears ring long with what you have heard
May the bread on your tongue
Leave a trail of crumbs
To lead the hungry back to the place that you are from

And take to the world this love, this hope and faith
Take to the world this rare, relentless grace
And like the three in one
Know you must become what you want to save
‘Cause that’s still the way
He takes to the world

Here we are. Good News. God came into the world and brought salvation to creation. Pay attention! Your ears have heard Good News proclaimed. I hope you listened and don't forget it! And share it with others! If I had to assign a setting to this song, I'd say it's after the Eucharist. We've fed on spiritual food and drink and been strengthened to go out into the world, taking salvation with us. But the sameself bread and wine not only strengthen us. Leaving the Table (like salvation) isn't just about us. As a post-communion prayer in the BCP says, "Send us now into the world in peace and grant us strength and courage, to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart," or like Eucharistic Prayer C itself, "Deliver us from the presumption of coming to this table for solace only, and not for strength, for pardon only and not for renewal."

Go, and go far
Take light deep in the dark
Believe what’s true
He uses all, even you
May the bread on your tongue leave a trail of crumbs
To lead the hungry back to the place you are from

We've been challenged (in the song): "Follow me" and go out to spread the Good News. And now we're being encouraged: God can (and does) use all of us. We're supposed to go, and share. Evangelism is one beggar telling another where to find bread. And taking Good News requires going out into the world where Good News needs to be heard: the mess of things. In Advent 2007 the Vr. Rev. Alan Jones said innumerable times concerning the Incarnation, "God with us, God in us, God in the mess of things." We can't just sit in our beautiful naves starting at Surprise Jesus or Jesus as Lord of the Dance. We have to get out into the messiness of things.

Take the Light of Christ into the darkness to dispel it. Share the Good News of God's redemptive love. Jesus told us to...and we ought to out of gratitude for the freedom we've been given through God's redemptive acts.

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