Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?
Jeremiah 8:22 (21st Century King James Version)
When you go to a worship service-wherever it is-do you fully engage the Divine, becoming one with Him/Her, and leave transformed? Or, do you go and for those 1.5 hours (avg Sunday morning worship time) just get your “Jesus fix” that makes you feel good for the time being?
As I’ve evolved on this road trip called the Christian Journey, I’ve realized that worship is not some “get happy-hoop and holler-feel good” experience. Worship is where I and the Divine come together-with or without others around me-and we have that “intercourse” where, like lovers, we become one. God and I share our time together; and it’s not just during Sunday morning worship.
True worship is a living and organic thing. When you and the Divine are merging, expanding, reshaping and transforming; you become more and more a human infused with the Divine-like Jesus. Your consciousness-although still your own-has a Divine strain running through it that enables you to be integrated in your character and engaging as Jesus was. True worship is healing-like a balm-where it makes you whole, hale, and holy (these words are related to each other in the Old English and Old Norse). And as you know healing makes you whole, integrated; with integrity: integrated within yourself and with the Divine.
Sad to say, many of us are using worship like a drug: a “Jesus Fix.” We go to church for our allotted time, get ourselves happy from the choir’s singing and the preacher’s preaching. We’ll jump high and shout, do our dance; or in a more conservative setting rock back-and-forth, nodding a little more fervently. But after we leave worship, we’re no better than when we arrived. And like any drug, our Jesus fix will wear off (sometimes before we get to our car) and nothing’s changed in us. We live dis-integrated lives where we compartmentalize the spiritual and the secular. We barely know the Divine in our day-to-day lives (except in extreme crises). Instead of having intimacy with God, we have a “quickie” as if we were with a prostitute.
Like the unfortunate drug addict who needs their fix, so do many of us in church with “Jesus”. Not the Jesus of the Gospels, who “lived fully and loved wastefully” (per John Shelby Spong) and expressed the Divine. No, we want a safe and narcotizing Jesus that makes us feel good and also gives us an escape from having to face life and live it. And like the addict, we feel good when our fix is sated, but when it wears off we crash and burn; becoming monsters in our own lives. And after each crash, we need a bigger fix: we “church hop” looking for more exciting services. We gravitate towards preachers and choirs that get us happy. We don’t have time for serious engagement with the Divine (and each other). It’s a sad state of affairs.
Me? I’ll take full engagement with the Divine and Her balm. Let Her and I become one as I worship Her-like lovers. I’ll go deep into the dark and painful places where I can be transformed and healed. As I’m healed, I can go into The Center (see my last post) where I can become whole and integrated, thus living with Divine integrity. Then in turn, I can show forth the Kingdom/Queendom of God in my living as a child of God, engaging life, others, and my universe. And in the end, I can be what God called me to truly be: human.