Friday, January 26, 2007

When in Rome, Love

Does anyone remember The Promise Song by the band When in Rome? It's another of those "One Hit Wonders" but it's great - given a resurgence in popularity by its inclusion in the closing credits of Napoleon Dynamite.

My weekly column for church (Living Covenants, below) was on my mind and I thought about how fitting the lyrics are for a church. See if you agree

If you need a friend, don't look to a stranger,
You know in the end, I'll always be there.
And when you're in doubt, and when you're in danger,
Take a look all around, and I'll be there.

I'm sorry, but I'm just thinking of the right words to say. (I promise)
I know they don't sound the way I planned them to be. (I promise)
But if you wait around a while, I'll make you fall for me,
I promise, I promise you I will.

When your day is through, and so is your temper,
You know what to do, I'm gonna always be there.
Sometimes if I shout, it's not what's intended.
These words just come out, with no gripe to bear.

and then it repeats the chorus a few times.

I long for a church where most of the relationships are reflective of what this song is saying. The Greek word is koinonia, the English word is fellowship. We Christians have reduced "fellowship" to a potluck meal in the fellowship hall, but there is more to it. Fellowship, to me, is loving each other the way Jesus loves us and I think I could make a pretty good Biblical case for my opinion.

The problem is, of course, that loving like Jesus is much harder than puttng on a meal. Glimpses of this kind of fellowship can be seen in my church, though, and it brings me joy. I wish I could tell you the stories, but to do so would break confidences. Suffice it to say that if you could get up on your tiptoes and peek through the window into God's kingdom work, you'd see God is still at work behind the scenes helping us love one another.
Now that's gospel.

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