Thursday, December 19, 2013

Advent: Churches & Bars

Posted by Christoph

What if I told you, there is absolutely no difference between a church and a bar?
What if I told you, I want you to go to a bar as much as I want you to go to church?
There's just no difference. 

I want you to listen to this wonderful song called "An Introduction" by David Ramirez, before we explore together what on earth I am talking about. Enjoy, it's brilliant music! 
Listen to the lyrics, of course!

Here's the part that I want you to pay special attention to:

"Tell me where to find
Tell me where to find the Lord
How the hell am I supposed to knock on Heaven if I can't even see the door
Tell me where to find the Lord
So I traded in my pew for a bar stool
Trying to find redemption in the mind of the youth
We'd sit tall with our cigarettes and disheveled uniforms
Oh I never, no I never saw the Lord."

You know, my first reaction would be very evangelical on this one. Honestly, a tiny part of me wants to throw Matthew 7:7 at this guy and be like "Knock and it will be opened to you". Thank God that part of me is only very tiny, cause I don't think that would help at all.
The question these lyrics make me ask is: Where did we go wrong?
Where was it that we turned away from a living vibrant relationship with Christ, so it happens that people don't meet him when they come to our churches? The Bible tells us that the church is the bride of Christ. We've become a lonely couple, only one half of the deal, a wife without a husband.
That could be one part of the problem, but in reality, there's more.
What really bugs me is that you should be just as fine to meet Jesus in a bar. 
When we look at the Jesus of the Bible, he was being critisized by the religious folk because he was "eating with the sinners". It seems not logical to me, that we've confined him now to live in a nice and holy building, where everybody can meet him each Sunday at around 11 am. No, he'd be out there, finding people where they are, just as he did 2000 years ago. That is how a church and a bar are exactly the same thing.
Maybe this is a good start to preparing for Christmas: Remembering that it is not about us finding God, but God coming down into our mess to find us. What a story :)

"Still, we belong to a God who never stops seeking us, and my experience has been that faith is not so much Lost then found as it is being found again and again and again."
~ Addie Zierman