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Monday, March 17, 2014

God Beyond Conservative and Liberal

Worship began as she solemnly approached the altar candles and all was well in her act of service.  What the teen acolyte didn't see coming, what no one saw coming, was that with the next small push of the wick in the candle lighter, the wick would fall out, snuffing the flame.  With this just over the horizon, one candle was lit and the second one in that precarious moment of combustion uncertainty.  She lifted the lighter barely a few centimeters to check for candle flame, only seeing the glow had not yet transferred.  Thats when she extended the wick a smidge and it went out.

Well trained servant that she was, she pivoted without a flinch, to retrieve fresh wick and fire.  That's when we all saw it.  All, except the acolyte that is.  The candle flame snuck up from an invisible ember to complete the task.

That's the challenge of lighting candles with a lighter filled with an extendable wax wick.  If the handler is too conservative with the wick, tending the flame and extending wick life, the fire may go out.  Yet, if one is too liberal with the wick, extending it quickly and freely, ensuring the life of the flame, it can blaze unceremoniously, dripping wax, and burning excessive resources quickly.  Conservative can equal stingy and liberal can equal wasteful.  What's an acolyte to do?

The ember that mysteriously completed altar candle ignition, launching us into worship, suggests to me that there is a place of trust between liberalism and conservatism that brings me into God's very presence.  I'm prompted to ask, "Can there be too much love of God?" I consider, "Might love eschew extreme in favor of relationship?"  I'm drawn to wonder, "Dare I trust that the mystery is bigger than my certainty and my mistakes?"  Perhaps in this place of trusting relationship can grow mysterious light... loving light... divine light!

God is like that, and so I watch, trust and occasionally laugh.  Thanks be to God.

So how did you begin worship this week?

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