Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The walls are weeping.
For now they know,
The time is approaching
Where they'll divide no more.
I had mentioned in one of my posts on "A Heart at Home" how the Lord was showing me so many things through the words and actions of my children. It is because I have slowed down a lot in my busyness and trimmed down my "to do" list to just rest more and enjoy life.
The other night I was sitting out on the back patio watching the younger children converse with the neighbor kids who live directly behind us. The problem is there are tall concrete block walls around every yard in our neighborhood. Most of the neighborhoods out here in the Phoenix area have walled off yards with no gates leading to the other properties. These are supposed to be like privacy fences. However, they are nothing like the ones back East that are made of wood. At least with those you can peek through the cracks to see what your neighbor is doing.
I was amazed as I watched the children do anything they could to talk and connect with their new friends. We have a tree right beside the wall. At one time three of them were in the tree at once so they could see and talk to our neighbors. They were stacking large Rubbermaid containers so they could climb up and see over the wall. The neighbor children have a trampoline, so they would jump up and down while having conversations with our children in the tree.
Then they figured out a way to play. Our children fetched every ball we own and began tossing them back and forth over the wall with the neighbor kids. Back and forth, back and forth, over and over they played dodge ball with the ugly concrete wall dividing them.
Then as if it could not get any sweeter, they began to exchange gifts across the wall. Daniel our 8 year old ran back and forth from the house to the wall bringing little packages of Sweet Tarts to toss over to their friends. Also one of the neighbors gave Joshua one of his action figure toys.
They were all so excited to just connect with the other children. I was amazed as I was watching a living message being played out between humble little children. I mused at what a perfect picture of the church and the true heart of the church should be like. I was almost startled by the truth that this desire to connect with others in a meaningful way is a glimpse of what the church will become in the future. And God will use the next generation to rebuild the church into what HE wants it to be and look like. We are in for a shock.
As I watched the children passionately attempting to communicate and relate with others with the wall between them, I also saw a frustrated generation becoming sick and tired of meaningless walls that separate the body of Christ from each other as well as from the sea of people who never experienced or known the true love of Jesus.
I began to imagine them knocking down the walls in righteous anger with their bare hands. I almost saw them speak the word, "Dissolve!" and the blocks would crumble under the force of their bold tones. I then could almost see these young people crossing over where the walls once stood...the walls of comfort, the walls of religious arrogance, the walls of elitism, the walls of exclusivity, the walls of hypocrisy and judgement, the walls of bound up finances, and many more.
Every block that was used to build borders of strongholds in the church was no more. And the most exciting thing was the reality that this young generation will passionately and purposefully rebuild this wasteland into something not constructed with human hands but with the empowerment of God's spirit.After all the Lord says, "He will build His church!" My question is, "How long have we been building His church?"
The day is coming when we will all be shocked because the church will no longer look like we have always known it. The church will be whole. The church will be more than buildings, programs, platforms and pulpits. The church will be a people who are tired of the norm and are courageous enough to be the agents of change. I am seeing the restlessness already...even in my own children.And we should be excited!
I recently just completed the book "Unchristian". According to the thorough research and interviews collected in order to write the book, the younger generation of 19 to 29 year olds generally are turned off by the religious facades of the church as it is.They prefer to stay outside the walls. However, they possess a God given energy and sense of adventure that the Lord is already working through to turn the tide of the church as we have always known it.
This generation is committed to their communities of friends which is going to be the foundation of genuine community as God defines it. They also see through falsehood. They are less judgemental and more accepting of those whom we the church esteem as outcasts. They are bold in their observations and are fearless in voicing them. We, the older generation have labeled them as out of control, rebellious, disrespectful, and cynical.
However,over the last few months my eyes are being open more and more to how the Lord loves to take wild young people and turn them into wild Kingdom fireballs who will violently bring the flames of God to a stagnant land.They will do whatever it takes to sweep the earth with the love of God even if they have to break every bone in their hands to knock down divisive walls.
John the Baptist did not loudly and shamelessly proclaim the words, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord." for nothing. He was not blowing hot air just to be heard! It was a word for us today. We must prepare by first repenting of all our wrong opinions of the newer generations and we must begin to proclaim how God is going to mightily appear through a church looking like we have never seen before.We must repent for all of our limited, logical, human blueprints implemented for building the church and seek His face in brokeness as to how HE wants it done. We must prepare and we should cry out for change now within our own hearts so us 30, 40, 50, 60,and 70 year old folks can lead the way for our young people. The walls of generational division must also fall and only God can show us how.The walls are weeping. Can you feel the their tears?
The walls are weeping
For now they know
The time is approaching
Where they will divide no more.
The once little feet who climbed over to see
Are also the ones that will set the world free
The walls are weeping
For the time has come
For the church to reign in victory
So that all may clearly see the Son.
No more falsehood
No one will be left out
All will be loved
And really know what Kingdom living is really about.
Prepare ye the way
For a kingdom so pure
Artificial walls are crumbling
And eternal ones will endure
We might be surprised
At all that we see
We might feel tempted to judge
It as coldness and apathy
And the thing we might find
In the terms we used to judge
Was the very wall in our own heart
Made of sinful sludge
Are your walls weeping?
Brother and sister rejoice,
for the time is approaching
When we all will be one voice.
And the moral of this story is: What will I do with the message? Will I go over the wall to meet my neighbor? Am I willing to climb the tree? Am I willing to scale that wall? Or maybe take a few extra steps to the adjacent street to meet the mom and dad who live in that home? I must follow the example of the children. I will let you know what happens! Until next time.....start slammin some walls!!!