We cannot maintain the status quo and expect to live more fully under God’s reign at the same time. Jesus upset the status quo in his day and if he would be Lord of our lives today he would still have us change direction.
We cannot expect to remain comfortable and follow Jesus. Yes, he comforts us--but that does not mean he makes us comfortable. In truth, there is no real comfort in mere “comfortable.” Excess of ease kills the spirit of adventure intrinsic in the Way of Jesus.
To make “organized religion” our desired goal is to live something other than the life Jesus proclaimed and embodied. We would have our spirituality packed neat and tidy in a box so as to keep it maintained to a “reasonable” commitment each week. We would have our church services timed to between 67 and 74 minutes. We would have our bulletin error-free and our times of communion well-run. In such an instance there is, in fact, very little true communion. We would also minimize silence in our services so as to keep everyone on our carefully constructed tracks. Goodness knows if we leave time for people to think for themselves they just may hear something wild from God’s goose and take it into their heads to follow the leader away from our roost.
Do we want “religion within reason”? If so, we cannot want the way of Jesus for his road is far from reasonable. He says, “Take up your cross and follow me.” If we can make sense of such a command there must be something askew in our brain. What he asks us to do (and what he himself leads us towards) is the least sane alternative presented us. All other options are more comfortable by comparison for one cannot risk more than one’s very life. It is to unreserved abandon Jesus calls us.
Let’s face it, our tidy church games are attempts to control make-believe. They are far from the role plays of children who invest themselves in their parts fully and willingly. Let us stop “playing church” as grownups do and let us begin to “play for keeps” as young ones do. Go for broke; all in.