So I am watching the last song of "Idol Gives Back" and someone decided that the remaining 8 contestants would sing "Shout to the Lord". I had to think for a minute because there seemed to be the possibility that I had slipped into some cosmic rabbit hole where a "secular" show was actually singing about God.
Once I realized that indeed they were praising God with this song my mind and heart were flooded with emotions and thoughts. Had someone in control of the program actually linked the work of helping the poor, sick and hungry people of the world to the very work of Jesus? When people are generous, loving and selfless is the automatic reaction to look to heaven? Is this the end of time and every knee is bowing and every tongue is confessing? It was hard to wrap my brain around it.
After the show went off and my emotions calmed a bit I was left with a more convicting and less confusing question. How absolutely banal is my life and the things for which I seek? Of course, the "Jesus Talk" is that I seek him but lets be honest...too often my time, money, energy and contentment are all connected to things far from God. I go to work and spend time earning a salary. I go to the gym to feed my ego...and of course to maintain good physical health...I mean the body is the Temple, right? I work in my yard, build things out of wood, go camping to "rough it" because life really is just too plush at times, no? Banal! Banal! Banal!
Kids die from starvation and I wish they wouldn't but it doesn't appear that I wish they wouldn't enough to spend my money, time and energy to help prevent it. Orphans roam the streets but I offer them no shelter. Doesn't Jesus talk about the "religious" who will say to him something like, "I cast out demons in your name and spoke on your behalf and other really cool religious things" and Jesus will probably be emotional as he is forced to tell them, "I'm sorry, I know you did some things supposedly in my name but I never really knew you". Which not being known by Jesus probably means that they never knew him either right?
I think maybe those people knew church doctrine. Maybe they knew theology to some degree and maybe even they were church leaders...but they just didn't know that the first and last mission for God's people is to love...not in word but in deed.
Maybe the church should in this way be more like American Idol. For all of the talk I hear from the traditional fundamentalists about "Returning God to His Rightful Place in America" I think I would rather hear that the people of God have fed the hungry, befriended the lonely and taken in the lost and homeless...and once that work is well underway, we can pause to sing to God what our lives have already been doing. "SHOUT TO LORD! ALL THE EARTH LET US SING POWER AND MAJESTY, PRAISE TO THE KING".