Some times I feel discouraged,
And think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again.
Though we sang this refrain in both the early and the late worship service yesterday, it wasn’t until the second service where the tears started rolling down my face. Singing these lines in the midst of a worship experience so focused upon healing, I needed my soul to be revived again.
Call it the Holy Spirit, if you like. Once upon a time, it was the Holy Spirit that I most readily identified with in the Trinity. I wasn’t always sure that I could claim the Creator or the Christ — but the Spirit seemed to animate all of the mystery of God I couldn’t claim. Then, I started serving the church and God became more central. I claimed the power of God — but now, now it’s all about Jesus. This is strange to me and admittedly a little uncomfortable because it’s so new. But, when I’m discouraged and think my work’s in vain, it’s not the Holy Spirit I turn to. It’s Jesus. Give me Jesus.
Yesterday was the first time I’ve led worship on my mother’s anniversary. I knew it would be hard for me and so I created a worship service that would meet my needs — in the faith and hope that it would meet the needs of others too. But, I had no idea how it would feed my soul. I had no idea that I would actually worship in this service to the point that tears would stream down my cheeks. I let the Christian tradition do its thing and in doing so my Precious Lord took my hand.
What’s strange to me about this is that I’m one of those progressive Christians who still squirms when anyone claims to know the will of God. I have doubted with the best of them — and there are still some things I’m not sure about. Lots of things, actually. I remember being one of those young people inventing a religion in my college classes as Candance Chellew-Hodge describes. I remember thinking that the church was too strict and too judgmental. I even remember thinking that Jesus was just a really nice guy but now… Now, I think that these notions are too strict and judgmental. It seems too quick to draw conclusions about something that takes time to work over us. Because that’s what I experienced yesterday in worship. I experienced a community that picked up the pieces and proclaimed something bigger than ourselves. That doesn’t even begin to describe what I felt or even who Jesus is. All I can really say is that I want more of that. I want more Jesus no matter how many articles are posted about the uncertainties there might be about Jesus. I want more Jesus. Please.