This is where I’m at

26 03 2009

Last night my wife was out at a tupperware party. I don’t know why they call them parties, I suppose you could say it was a gathering to get you to buy more stuff. Anyway I had most of the night to myself and spent most of my time reading Romans. It used to be my favourite book of the Bible. I must have read it through at least 50 times when I was a teenager. But lately I’ve spent so much time in the Gospels that I’ve come to appreciate the narratives of Jesus’ life a lot more. Guys like N.T. Wright and Craig Blomberg have given me so many great insights into the Gospels. You need to read their books. But reading Romans last night was a breath of Fresh air.

When I came to Chapter 12 I found myself breathing a sigh of relief as Paul had just described my thoughts and feelings exactly.  You see I have been so busy of late. My job got a whole lot busier, I’m leading a homegroup, I’m studying part time at my local seminary, I’m leading worship just about every 2nd week at my church on Sunday mornings, and I’m recording & mixing a demo album with another band. But it’s come at the expense of some other things, like my blog. I make no appologies for that either, because last night I realised something. Perhaps I need to start this a little further back?

You see I’ve always loved the bible. In fact me and the Bible have had a love hate relationship for most of my life. Perhaps hate is too strong a word. It’s just that sometimes I would prefer to read about the Bible than the Bible itself. I know you understand. The Bible tells us a story that demands something from us. By reading it I come to know and appreciate the grace shown to me in my saviour Jesus Christ. It’s a humbling thing, but it’s also a scary thing at times. It means I have to give up trying to earn my way into God’s good books and accept the upside down nature of the Kingdom, and Grace. Anyway I digress. I have always wanted to know the Bible more, and have had dreams of preaching in churches and youth groups. But lately I’ve come to realise that God has other plans for me.

I’m a musician first and foremost. I think in rhythms, and beats. I’ve always got a song in my head, and am always thinking of drum patterns that go with riffs I’ve created. This is my gift. One sunday while listening to the sermon (I was leading the worship that sunday too) I felt a very clear word in my spirit from God himself. It wasn’t like an audible word, it was just a way of knowing something to be true (I wish I had a better way to describe it). I knew right then and there that my role in the kingdom was to lead people into God’s presence. That somehow through my music I was proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ to the congregation and those I came into contact with. When I used my gift the Holy Spirit  moved amongst the people and worked on their hearts. It was liberating and disappointing at the same time. I realised that my gift had made room for me. I had a part to play. I say disappointing because I had dreamed of being a preacher but knew it wasn’t my gifting or calling.

But last night while reading Romans that disappointment vanished. I realised it is every Christians duty to know the story scripture tells, not just because you want to be a preacher, but in order to think biblically and operate in the world with a Christian worldview. The world needs preachers and ordinary Christians to change the world. Not just preachers and not just ordinary Christians. We all have a part to play. Paul says it so much better than me:

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your  faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Romans 12:6-8)

I’ve learnt so much from blogging. It has meant I’ve had to codify my thoughts into understandable sentences. I’ve had to think through my responses to people. My thinking has been challenged on several fronts. Ive learnt a lot from many other blogs – in particular Mason’s blog New Ways Forward. But blogging will never make me a preacher or biblical scholar. It may help to build my christian worldview, but no amount of effort will change me from a Ferrari to an Oil tanker.

As you continue on your journey as a Christian remember that you are not the same as someone else for a reason. If there were two of me in the world one of them would be useless, and we’d probably kill each other. If you’re called to be a preacher be that, and do it well. The world needs preachers, theologians and scholars. But the world also needs musicians, artists, bakers, chefs, mums, dads, lawyers, managers, and fruit pickers. Whatever you do, do it as if you were working for the Lord himself. Proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every facet of your life. That way the Holy Spirit goes forth and works on the hearts of those that come into to contact with you.

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2 responses

28 03 2009
Mason

I’m not sure what makes them ‘parties’ either, but to each their own I guess.

This post showed a lot of wisdom and maturity Grant, it’s easy to get set on one path and then rationalize staying on that path when you sense God leading you elsewhere.

I have to say that from where I sit the church needs more people with your gifts, musicians who are also passionate about learning the Bible and studying theology.
You clearly know your stuff when it comes to the academic side of things and I assume the same is true musically (though, not having heard you play, I can’t say that for a fact). Thats a rare combination in music today, and as I’ve said elsewhere two of the big reasons I avoid Christian music are because so much of it is drivel when it comes to having depth in the content and because so much of it lacks in musical quality/style.

29 03 2009
aworthydiscussion

Thanks Mason, it’s been an interesting ride over the past few years. I’ve learnt a lot academically, and have come to a much sounder understanding of scripture. I’m the same as you when it comes to Christian music. In fact I can’t stand most of it. However I heard a really good song yesterday from a band called “Red” who have a new album out. It’s as good as any hard rock out there.

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