Daily Thoughts, July 7, 1999
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Openness

“He [God] opens a place in his heart for the down-and-out, he restores the wretched of the earth. He frees them from tyranny and torture – when they bleed, he bleeds, when they die, he dies.” Psalm 72.13,14

Last night I saw with a bunch of 18-22 year olds to select worship songs for their, our, pub church worship CD. I realize there are glaring potential contradictions in this statement. Traditionally what do “kids” know about worship songs? How can a pub be a church? Why would one invest time, energy, and money in making a CD about a church masking itself as a pub with a median age attending of 19?

The answer is quite simple. The pub church is one of the few blatantly honest worship experiences one can find currently. There is little pretense because the people who attend are out of the element and are not sure what is “expected”. There are no boundaries because the old folks involved are willing to risk all for God. I find excitement bubbling each week as God works in people’s lives. Miracles are tangible, fresh, and openly discussed.

The analytical side of my brain wants to understand what is going on. This Psalm brought my analysis into focus. God opens a place (the pub and people’s hearts) for the down-and-out (every person who realizes who and what he is), he restores the wretched of the earth (brings them into his presence and touches them in tangible ways). He frees them from tyranny and torture (breaks the ties of self decisions that create lives of bondage) – when they bleed, he bleeds (God and God’s followers model lives of grace, acceptance, and love), when they die, he dies (no limits to the level of involvement).

The awesome experience is that I am different for being in the cycle. God reaches out and touches everyone who seeks his presence. God is a part of any and every worship that is true and full of spirit. God ignores every worship that is not filled with spirit and truth.

God, wow.

July 6, 1999
July 8, 1999