“For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ʻHe has a demon!ʼ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ʻLook at him, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!ʼ” (Luke 7:33)
Friday night some good friends of my wife Nancy and I whom we have not seen for awhile, Ty and Joni, invited us out and treated us to dinner and a show. They took us to the Black Jacket Symphony’s rendition of the Beatles Sergeant Pepper’s Album that was at the Van Braun Civic Center Arena. Before the concert, we went first to an Italian restaurant in Big Spring Park. For two hours over good food, craft beer and wine we shared stories, laughed, and caught up on life.
We left the restaurant and walked over the VBC for the show. We had great floor seats, the musicians were talented, the complete Alabama Symphony Orchestra accompanied them, and the show was amazing! What surprised me was the subdued and reserve disposition of the crowd.
Being a Beatles concert, the majority of those attending were in the age 40-50 and up. In my BC days (before Christ) sitting in a concert seat I would encounter the aroma of pot in the air. The aroma that surrounded me Friday night was that of popcorn. The couple to the left of me and those in front of me had large bags of popcorn like at a movie theatre. And they sat there, silently eating their popcorn and listening to this amazing concert, putting popcorn in their mouth as if they were watching “The Note Book!” People all around me just sat there with their hands on their laps, giving an occasional nod of approval during a song. Neither those next to me or in front of me clapped or cheered at all until everyone applauded at the intermission. And then for the first time they got to their feet to go use the bathroom. And we had floor seats! Nancy and Joni stood up to sing and dance to “Strawberry Fields Forever” only to be told by a man behind them to please sit down so they could see. Finally when they played, “Got to Get You into My Life” and the crowd still domesticatedly watched the show, I had to get up out of my seat and stand in the isle so I could dance and sing to the song without getting yelled at to sit down.
As I looked around the civic center of over 5,000 of my peers I wondered, How and when did we become so reserved and domesticated? When did we stop singing and shouting? When did we stop dancing? When did we become and start acting so old? And as I looked over the crowd sitting in their neat rows facing forward conformed and proper, it reminded me of the typical church service, that in so many ways lacks the same passion. We are being discipled and influenced by the knowledge that the same people that sit behind and around us at concerts ready to shout, “Sit down!” if we show passion and act undignified, are also sitting behind and around us at church ready to say the same thing, if not with words, then with a glaring stare.
The people that attended the concert last night paid good money for their tickets. It wasn’t the thought of sitting their with their hands on their laps that motivated them to purchase tickets to the show, it was thoughts and remembrances of when they first heard and fell in love with the Beatles. Remembering the past when their music brought them to life, impacted their lives with its passion and joy and caused them to dance and sing, and the hope of re-encountering those feelings.
The people that attended church on Sunday’s also are not motivated to attend by the thought of sitting their with their hands on their laps, nodding occasionally in approval of a song or the sermon. They attend because they remember when they first heard the Gospel and fell in love with Jesus. Remembering the past when his love brought them to life, impacted their lives with its passion and joy and caused them to dance and sing, and the hope of re-encountering those feelings.
There was nothing domestic, dignified, complacent, or formal about the songs and music that that flowed from the musicians voices and instruments on the stage last night that invited all to stand and sing and dance. There is nothing domestic, dignified, complacent, or formal about the cross, and the songs and music that Jesus released and flowed from the stage of Calvary 2000 years ago that today still invite all to sing and dance.
My family, I pray today you will throw all reservations aside and become undignified in your love for Jesus. May you dance, sing and shout along with the one, Jesus Christ, who is constantly dancing and singing over and around you. Remember, the accuser, the enemy who stands behind you shouting “Sit Down!” Jesus crushed under his heal when he walked out of the grave and began the dance! Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!!!
Gary Liederbach-Lead Follower
One Direction Community
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