Why We Do What We Do

Continuing in 1 Chronicles, the message of intentionality moves from worship to the entire structure of the community.  Each person serves a function in society.  The Levites functioned as temple workers among the protectors of the gate.  In many ways, they are the first people that welcome others into the city of Jerusalem.  Their songs and words are meant to tell people that they are entering a place that observes the sovereignty of Adonai, the Almighty God.

While we imagine this type of behavior as strange, we must remember that the Hebrew people never differentiated between the sacred and the secular.  Everything is given to them by God, so it is impossible to compartmentalize the presence of the Holy One of Israel.  The Spirit is everywhere and in all things.  The idea that we separate religious life from business life would sound strange to them.

Living in today’s world, it is next to impossible to maintain a connection to the secular and the sacred.  In our society, we celebrate God in so many ways that we could not agree on the proper way to express the Divine.  Our communities are constructed in ways that prevent any one form of expression to take over.  Who would serve as our singers at our gates?

Maybe the importance of this text appears in very inner parts of our souls.  Do you live as if you are two different people?  To ask it another way, are you one way at church only to respond to the world in a completely different fashion?  You say, “Jesus loves you,” in one breath while in another respond to your neighbor, “You are no good and not worth a pound of squash!”  Worship consistently gives way to animosity and resentment.  The sacred disappears.

Hear the good news, God doesn’t want our lives to be cut in two.  Holy hands reach out during worship and in our daily lives.  The transformative power of the risen Christ calls us to live in the world as new creatures.  We carry the message of hope in our daily lives.  I choose to react differently than what I did before, in every circumstance.

To be a disciple, I must lay down my life and follow God.  Failure to respond with joy and kindness leads me down a path that prevents me from showing the world the light of Christ.  How can people move from doubt to faith when we set poor examples of what it means to take up my cross and follow?  Our actions should reflect the inward grace given to us by our amazing Creator.

I hope that we can stand together and celebrate the gifts given to us by God, and in so doing we may find it impossible to separate the secular from the sacred.  Christ is with us twenty-four/seven.  We can not put him on a shelf and go our own and do our personal bidding.  We turn our lives over to the care of God, and all of the rest will be taken care of.

Published by joekmac

I am a pastor in the United Methodist Tradition. I am the Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Belen in the New Mexico Annual Conference. I am married to Cazandra and have two sons with hemophilia.

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