What Matters To Me/Us?

Jul 14

What Matters To Me/Us?
What do you care about? I am slowly figuring out that one can only care about so many (or should I say, few) things, and that caring for one thing means not caring as much about another thing. I’ll speak to this personally, and then church-ly. If you are experience pain in your wisdom tooth the best that you can do is get a wisdom teeth removal.
 
Personally:
Black lives matter to me. Unborn babies matter to me. My neighbors matter to me. But I do very little personally for these people. Because I matter to me too. And, unfortunately, I matter to myself more than other people matter to me. My family matters to me. I’m currently trying to work harder at being there more for them than I have in the past. A daily prayer/Bible study time matters to me more now than before as well. Having enough work coming in to provide for our finances continues to matter to me. Finding a church home for my family matters to me. Making time to play the piano matters to me. Finding a home for us to purchase matters to me. The money from the sale of our old home that I put in the stock market until we find that next home matters to me. The political and selfish climate of the church during Trump’s presidency and during COVID-19 matters to me.  After these things, I just have very little energy for other (possibly more important) things to matter to me in a practical sense. My small group should matter to me. Children who are being trafficked should matter to me. People around the world who have never heard about Jesus should matter to me. And on and on it could go forever. There are certain people on my prayer list–they matter to me. But most of my prayer list currently consists of things that I feel like matter to God regarding who I am as a person on the inside. The few things I’ve mentioned mark my current limit of how many things can truly matter to me. I wish I could care about more things, but I simply can’t. We almost had a contract on a home this week–all of a sudden, that was my focus for 24-hours to the detriment of everything else. I resented that feeling. The question I’m trying to figure out personally: what are the few things Jesus wants me to care about right now?
 
Church-ly:
I think the same limitations are true for organizations, such as a church. I think churches know how to state things on their website/materials about what matters to them. But having attended several different local churches the past 2 years or so, it feels like there are several common things that matter to most churches in a practical sense: excellent music and A/V, creating a comfortable/welcoming mood, successfully addressing issues that the church thinks is relevant to both non-believers and believers, a great environment for kids/youth ministries–in short, a well-run Sunday morning operation. I think these things matter most to churches because these things matter to attendees. For some churches, going through the Bible verse-by-verse also matters. Or for some, possibly the order of service. Maybe the right mix of hymns/choruses. Or correct doctrine. Achieving budget. Or possibly the time length of the worship service. That being said, I think most churches would say that Jesus matters most to them–more than all of these other things combined. However, it feels like the importance of truly meeting with Jesus as a community is easily squeezed by other things that also matter to a lesser degree. A church can only strongly care about so many (or few) things. How would church look differently if meeting together with Jesus truly mattered supremely?
 
In our small group awhile back, I shared that if Jesus suddenly materialized in front of us during small group time and said, “Carry on…”, we would all first be in complete shock, but I could envision us afterwards carrying on without feeling like we need to change much of what we are doing. However, I cannot imagine the same reaction if Jesus were to materialize during a Sunday morning gathering. In my imagination, we would not feel comfortable carrying on as we were. Instead, we would feel drawn to stop what we are doing and proceed differently for the rest of the service. Why not go ahead proceed differently right now? We do not need to imagine Jesus being there; He’s there. Unless He’s not.

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