I was speaking with one of our deacons the other day about church growth especially in terms of our young adult members. How they used to leave for college but would eventually come back home to the church. But…that day seems to be over. Now our young people leave and they don’t come back. When asked the response is usually the “church is irrelevant, don’t want to get up that early on a Sunday or…I can get my philosophy, my theology my worship on the internet”.
After that conversation I remembered a quote by Thomas Merton in his “Cistern Life” where he makes this statement. “One of the most important features of the liturgical renewal is insistence on ‘listening’ to the Word of God…and then participating in a corporate reply. For this listening to be effective, a certain interior silence is required. This in turn implies the ability to let go of one’s congested, habitual thoughts and preoccupations so that one can freely open the heart to the message of the sacred text.”
Dear children let it go you must walk the path together! Serving, sharing worshipping requires, in fact, implies relationship. Really tough to respond to God’s word when isolated. Really hard to lift our lives up to God individually. God has called us into a family. Hard to respond to God’s Word by sitting all alone in front of a screen never bringing hope to another.
Sing this hymn of Yasushige Imakoma with me…
Send Your Word, O Lord, like the rain. Falling down upon the earth. Send Your Word. We seek Your endless grace, with souls that hunger and thirst, sorrow and agonize. We would all be lost in dark without Your guiding light.
Send your Word, O Lord, like the wind, blowing down upon the earth. Send Your Word. We seek Your wondrous power, pureness that rejects all sins, though they persist and cling. Bring us to compete victory; Set us all free indeed.
Send Your Word, O Lord, like the dew, Coming gently upon the hills. Send Your Word. We seek Your endless love. For life that suffers in strife with adversities and hurts, send Your healing power of love; We long for Your new world”.