Saturday, November 23, 2013

Holy Spirit Come

Holy Spirit Come
There is a generation of American young people that have walked away from the church. The generation above them has wondered why they would leave God.
The elder one says, “Those young people are too self-absorbed.”
          The younger says, “The church is old fashion, and immoveable. Why can’t it come along with the times?”
          The seniors grumble, “What they wear is so strange. Why do they dress so sloppy all the time?”
          “Church music is from the past.” The youth cry out. “People there are hypocritical, holier than thou, and hell bent on the rules. That’s right, I said, ‘Hell’”
          So, the younger generation left the church in droves.  Many of these young people fell into addictions, lived in the streets, and worried their parents to death.
          Though I was not one of the ones that left, I am a part of that generation. No, I’m not a millennial, I’m a baby boomer.  Many of those I speak of lost hope, and some their lives.
          Most churches stayed stubborn and insisted that only they knew the right way to live the Christian life. Surely, Jesus would want his children to wear ties and dresses to church. How could you have a service without an organ? If you sang songs with rock tunes, instead of hymns, you were courting Satan. And long hair on men? Never, in this church!
But I believe there were many parents of this generation that continued to pray. God inspired other individuals that cared more about loving with the love of Christ, then who was right about order of service.
That’s when it happened. Someone loved instead of arguing about stupid points on dress codes, rules, and who is correct about back word masking on rock music. One hippie received the love that was given. He opened himself up to a new life that spilled the glory of God to whoever stood next to him. He didn’t dress up. He used the music he knew and put words of truth to the notes. He kept his long hair and flower child ways.
He had gone into the world to find peace and love, and found it wanting. He realized his need for God. An explosion of revival ran a thick line through our rebellious generation and a whole new group emerged. The Jesus freaks. Soon others got on board. New music emerged. Some churches stayed the same, refusing to realize that God was about love, not judgment.  Many of these churches died with the generation that refused to give up their way of doing things.  
Now we have a new generation. Those of us still in the church say, “Those young people are too self-absorbed.”
          The younger says, “The church is old fashion, and immoveable. Why can’t it come along with the times?”
          The seniors grumbled. “What they wear is so strange. Why do they dress so casual all the time?”
          “Their music is from the past. People are hypocritical, holier than Thou, and hell bent on the rules. That’s right, I said, ‘Hell’”
          “The past? But we play contemporary music!”
          “If you’re in the 90’s”
Instead of the ungodly fashion of the day being long hair, now tattoos and piercings receive the brunt of our pointed fingers and laments of the evil world. So the younger generation has left the church in droves.
Okay, now it’s my generation’s time to pray, reach out, and be willing to change. No, we don’t have to agree with everything.  But we shouldn’t be condemning, and we need to listen. Many of these young people still believe in God but not how our churches have isolated themselves, sent out condemnations instead of hope, and turned to politics instead of coming alongside those that need our help, love, and compassion.
Let’s stop, back up the truck a little, and be ready to work on our own failings instead of rushing to point out their’s. Willing to get sweaty and hands dirty to do love, and be the hands of Christ.
Holy Spirit, come down as you did for the Jesus Freaks. Wash into the hearts of the generation that texts, knows they are special, and will carry on Your light to the following generation. Teach my generation to be open, listening, and willing to change, because it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and our job to love.

          

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