"We have managed to do something that the early Christians would not have thought possible. We have made Christianity safe, middle-class, comfortable. Even when we acknowledge the words of Jesus, we tame them."
In worship design, we were struggling with metaphors for this message. In our culture, they end up sounding negative instead of positive: give it up, lose your life, be a servant. Why? What’s in it for me?
On the way home from the meeting, I started thinking about what kind of things that we humans are willing to make large sacrifices for. One example has been on TV all week – the Olympics. Athletes willingly offer themselves, their time, and their possessions to be part of an amazing experience that is bigger than they are. You hear stories about sacrifices made, injuries overcome, perseverance in the face of adversity just to be part of the Olympic experience.
So, what will we gain by becoming a disciple and servant? I think we will become part of an experience that is beyond imagining: bigger than us, bigger than the Olympics, bigger than humanity. "God crafted our minds, bodies and emotions to be at their best when we are serving others sacrificially."
I also think that being a disciple and servant is going to require much more than self-discipline, even of the Olympic variety.
Our "behavior" will not be changed long with self-discipline, but fall in love and a human will accomplish what he never thought possible. By accepting God's love for us, we fall in love with Him and only then do we have the fuel we need to obey. - Blue Like Jazz, pg. 86