I’m Coming Back To The Heart Of Church

A couple of years ago it seemed like that at any Christian gathering singing Matt Redmann’s “I’m Coming Back To The Heart of Worship” was compulsory. There was no doubt that as a song it was probably done to death but I am sure that its popularity came from the fact that it said something that deeply resonates with many of us, especially those of us involved in any form of Church leadership. As someone who has been involved in church leadership for a while now, I am always haunted by that picture of Jesus standing at the door and knocking we get in Revelation 3:20. Our misapplication of this verse has emasculated that picture, robbed it of the shock value it should have for churches. Jesus is not standing at the heart of an unbeliever knocking and asking to come in to start a new relationship. Think about it for a moment, the shocking truth is that Jesus is knocking at the door of a church, His church asking to be allowed back in. The inescapable implication is that Jesus has been pushed out of that church and the door has been closed behind him. Jesus is in effect saying that there are certain churches he feels exclude from, pushed out of. Could there be a greater tragedy or anything more shocking than that?

I have been doing a bit of thinking about this lately. My hunch is that Matt Redmann’s song hit such a cord because we all actually recognise that tendency to push Jesus out of things. Its these words which I think resonate so deeply with me

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You
All about You, Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You
It’s all about You Jesus

Its just so easy to make, not worship, but so many things surrounding church and ironically following Christ about things other than Christ and so push Jesus to the periphery and then eventually exclude him all together. We never set out to do, it just sort of happens by stealth. We get so caught up running the church, attending meetings, organising events, preparing stuff, cleaning up etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc that Jesus keeps getting pushed down the priority list until he falls off it all together. The same thing can happen in our individual lives too, we end up by default making the Christian life about things other than Christ.

Right at the moment big changes are on the horizon for Mosaic Edinburgh, changes in format, new things starting which of course means I have lots of stuff to read, meetings to organise and be part, plans to prepare and structures and systems to be created. If I can be candid, the temptation to make church but something other than Jesus at times seems unavoidable. I have to read about the church, make plans for the church, organise the church, train for the church but the point is its not all about the church, the heart and essence of the Kingdom of God is its King, Jesus Christ.

That thought hit me hard when I read these words this morning “Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.” Hebrews 12:2 The writer of Hebrews, whoever he, or she, was seems to have encountered this tendency to lose sight of Jesus and allow him to be pushed out of what we are doing. I can’t remember who said it, I think it was perhaps, Oswald Chambers, that the greatest danger to our relationship with Christ is serving Christ. The writer of Hebrews encourages us to counteract this tendency to lose sight of Jesus by taking the time to refocus ourselves on him, to fix our attention back on Jesus, to make him central once more. I am trying to do that right, maybe I will hum that Matt Redmann song but change the words slightly

I’m coming back to the heart of church
And it’s all about You
All about You, Jesus
I’m sorry Lord for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You
It’s all about You Jesus

Maybe some of you should join me? I don’t mean singing the Redmann song, but refocusing your life and ministry on Jesus.

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