Paul Littleton joins this week’s episode of Thoughts from the Edge.
The Church in America has lost its voice. No, not every church. But, many churches and collectively we seem to like hearing ourselves rail against others or bemoan that no one listens any more. In those instances where we decry the condition of our culture and the fact that it seems the church is increasingly irrelevant we tend to fall into the trap of Elijah. We find a broom tree under which to pout about the loss of status once paid Christianity and so its Church.
It may be we need to be stood in front of a storm or an earthquake. There we like to revel in our own magnanimity. “We alone of all the people on the earth . . ..” We may need to hear our own silence. It is what Elijah heard. On the heels of his great battle with Baal he loses his voice and his willingness to risk. He has become silent except asking that he die and feeling oh so alone. Then, God reveals to him the sheer silence of a world void of the prophetic voice. The one that calls out to the powers and says, “Enough!” The voice that challenges the inequities and injustices practiced by those wielding authority. For too long the American Church seems to have been enamored of itself and now discovers its loss of voice and power.
We flit around hoping to bully others into believing we should be listened to. Maybe we need to find our voice again. Maybe we need to rediscover just what it is to declare Jesus is Lord in face of the powers who dismiss him as “unreal.” And, rather than cobble together a rousing defense, maybe we should put that prophetic voice to practice. A theme coming out of the recent Annual Meeting of the SBC in Orlando – “More done than said.” May it be so that we are found embodying Jesus’ prophetic ways in our own living shunning status for serving, saying “No” to celebrity and yes to charity. Maybe we need to hear the sheer silence of our own lost voice in order to recover a voice for the Way of Jesus in our living.