burned out by religion?

27 February, 2010

Jesus…
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

– Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

Isn’t that just beautiful? The answer to our weariness is to turn away from all the religious requirements placed on us, and to walk with Jesus. To let him show us how to really rest. To let him show us how to do life. Let him teach us “the unforced rhythms of grace”… what an incredible turn of phrase!

I can hear the love in his voice. He’d only just been lamenting the response of towns of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum for their response to the things Jesus had done in their presence. But, he knew where they were coming from! He understood their predicament. They were steeped in religion. Steeped in the law. They were so intent on doing their utmost to please God by adhering to all the requirement of their religion, that they completely missed God, himself, in their midst. And Jesus’ answer? He stops to pray for them, and then invites them into a life of rest. With him. In short, he loves them. Oh the great pleasure he must’ve felt in taking the burdon of religion off of them!!

Of course, they didn’t all ‘get it’. Some did, but most didn’t. Understandable of course, I mean, they didn’t get that Jesus was God, their Creator, living life with them inviting them into a better way of doing life. He’d come to save them from their burdensome life of trying to please him… and yet, for some reason, we remain attracted to religios observance and performance.

I suspect it’s primarily about our sence of right and wrong. For, while we know that we’re “saved by grace”, we still, deep down insist upon our own unworthiness and attempt to correct this injustice by doing our utmost to behave in all ways worthy.

Unfortunately, moden Christianity provides us with a plethora of ways in which we can [and must] do this. Attendance, service, tithing, worship, mission, Bible reading, studying, conferences, witnessing, meetings to organise meetings, social programs, and even prayer are all carefully scheduled into our days, weeks, months and years. All the time with us insisting, to a world that knows better, that “it’s not religion but relationship“, and… we believe it.

And Jesus says…

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”


the inciting incident

13 February, 2010

It’s been a long time since I blogged, mainly because it’s been a long time since I last felt that I’ve been able to put my heart into words.

Today however I feel that I can. Earlier this morning I was listening to a recent God Journey Podcast in which Wayne & Brad were talking with their friend Chris DuPré entitled First Love.

Chris was telling his story, and was saying how he found himself in the midst of a group of people that were “…talking about Jesus again.“. He didn’t mean in the sense that we discuss theories about Jesus, and the things he said and did when he was here on earth, but in the sense of knowing him.

Oh my, how this caught my heart!

When did we stop talking about Jesus? When did we replace this with programs and systems and meetings and theories and principles and theologies and organisations and denominations and institutions and movements and spotlights and… self?

It tires me.
It wears me out.
It makes me sad.

Where I really want to be, is in the midst of a those who are once again talking about the real Jesus. The real Truth. The real Light. The real Way.

Jesus, the lovely One.

For a long time now I’ve had in my heart a desire to blog along the lines of “In Search of Dad’s Church“, but I kept putting it off, kept pushing it aside. Knowing that some will be [willfully] offended, and knowing my total lack of desire to enter into that conversation with them. I’m so tired of it. So very tired.

However, today, and for as long as it needs to be, this will be the theme of my blog. I am now, and have been for a long time, in search of Dad’s Church.

In search of people who are once again, talking about Jesus.