Debbie and I just returned from an incredible anniversary trip to Rome and are still recovering from travel and catching upon up on admin. But I wanted to share a quick reflection from our trip.
I love my local church! The music is great and the preaching solidly biblical. It is a place where the grace of God is clearly taught and a relationship with Jesus is emphasized as infinitely more important that any religious routines. I was truly glad to be back this morning to worship with my church family.
There are literally hundreds of churches, cathedrals, and basilicas in Rome and last Sunday Debbie and I found ourselves standing in one of them. It was amazing, awesome, ornate, incredibly big, almost overwhelming. It was also gaudy, political, and not particularly a place I would want to worship every Sunday (and apparently not many others did either for it was virtually empty).
However, there is nothing quite like standing in a massive, centuries old cathedral to remind me of how small I am and how big God is – and that is a perspective I dare not ever lose.
Sometimes when I am worshipping at my local church, it is easy to make the service all about me. What can Jesus do for me? How is God to take care of me? What miracle is the Lord going to accomplish to make my life go the way I want it to? Isn’t it wonderful that Jesus loves me? Even in pastoral ministry sessions, where we appeal to the source of all Truth to bring that truth into our inmost beings and drive out the deception and lies that impact our lives – it can subtly lose focus and suddenly be about ”what God can do for me.” It is like we bring God down to our personal world, as small as that is, to do “God things.”
Don’t get me wrong. I clearly know that my God cares about me and is right in the middle of every moment of my life, inviting me to depend on Him as the only true source of truth and life. But I don’t want to ever forget that my journey with God is not about me – it is all about Him! And standing in that cathedral last Sunday under those sky-bound arches supported by those massive columns and realizing that even that building could not contain God caused me to want to worship – and I stood in wonderment that a God this big would even acknowledge the puny human lost in the immensity of that building, much more die for me.
Yes, Jesus does love me! How can that be?
Big God, big love. And that is about Him, not me.