Woohoo! I had my final lab practical in Wildlife Field Biology today. Salamanders are evil. Cara is awesome (thanks so much for the last minute cram session). Anyway, I did way better than I expected (God is good like that) and managed to find myself some Cheerwine in celebration.
I even did well on the birdcalls. This is only because I actually got a chance to review them yesterday during APEX rehearsal. Why was I practicing birdcalls at praise band rehearsal? How much could they possibly have in common? A lot, actually. Or at least the way we play things. This weekend, instead of the night of worship (where we rock) that APEX is usually responsible for, we'll be leading Sunday services for a change. At nlcf there is usually a "special song" during offering time, this week we are doing Tom Petty's "Learning to Fly" mixed with some of SNL's "cowbell" skit and--you guessed it--birdcalls. This should be all sorts of fun.
I'm really going to miss being in the band next year. While I haven't decided for certain, I don't think I'll be rejoining them next semester. I think I'll be finding another church to attend and, therefore, will need to step down from the team.
nlcf is a good ministry, they are certainly passionate, compassionate, and eager to see campus reached for God's glory...Their ministry style is just not what I'm craving.
Sometimes, in striving to keep things fresh and new, we become so focused doing things differently that we avoid anything resembling tradition at all costs. We are terrified to do things the way they've been done before. Sometimes, in trying to be different and interesting, we push things so far that we push away from their meaning, we shuffle things around and rearrange so much that we forget what the original picture looked like and why we wanted to look at it in the first place.
Easter Sunday was an interesting experience. Instead of a sermon, there were various testimonies interspersed with "mini-talks" each on a different theme. In the midst of it all there was "theme communion." There were different communion tables set up, each one corresponding to a different theme: Old to New, Despair to Hope, Sorrow to Joy, Sin to Forgiveness, and the like. We were encouraged to go to whichever table most resembled what God's grace means to us.
When did we start using themes in worship? Isn't praising the Almighty focus enough?
Why does every sermon need a catchy title? Isn't the Word catchy enough?
We are called to be do-ers, not designers.
I don't mean that themes can't help to focus or unify. They can work wonderfully. It is, however, incredibly easy to go too far. My (future) roommate and I want to have rubber duckies in our bathroom, which is going to be fun. But go too far, with ducky shower curtain, ducky towels, ducky bathmat, ducky soap dispenser, ducky toothbrush holder, ducky toilet cover, ducky light switch--and all the other ducky stuff they sell--and I'm going to have to borrow somebody's shotgun and get to huntin' me some ducks.
What if we were to go back to some of those traditional things we've been running away from? Or what if we were to ditch the cutesy and get back to the heart of it all? What if we were to turn away from the fluff and finesse and seek instead plain, beautiful honesty? We demand nothing less than Truth, what if we refuse to accept anything more?
Grass can sure start a nice blaze, but it's the solid wood that is going to keep the fire burning.
I know, I've been slacking all month. Final stretch of the semester is here so it's not going to be getting any better. Oh the guilt. Things may be on hold for a while. But I've at least provided some good music (not that mood stuff that my dentist plays).