The Land of Boys

Learning to live in a house full of testosterone

Killing Me Softly With His Blog…..

Have you ever the Roberta Flack song Killing Me Softly? In case you haven’t here are the lyrics:

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

I heard he sang a good song
I heard he had a style
And so I came to see him
To listen for a while
And there he was this young boy
A stranger to my eyes

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

I felt all flushed with fever
Embarassed by the crowd
I felt he found my letters
And read each one out loud
I prayed that he would finish
But he just kept right on

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

He sang as if he knew me
In all my dark despair
And then he looked right through me
As if I wasn’t there
And he just kept on singing
Singing clear and strong

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me

He was strumming my pain
Yeah, he was singing my life
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly
With his song

I had my own little “killing me softly” moment recently. Mark posted a link to a blog written by Jim Elliff on his Facebook page. Mark left for work shortly after posting the link. I saw it and clicked on it. Never in my life have I felt more like someone could read my very thoughts than this. I do not know Jim Elliff. I have never spoken to him. However, he posted some of the very same thoughts I have had recently. It was almost scary how much he and I are on the same wavelength on this subject. This particular writing is titled The Negotiables.  It talks about things in church that we do in certain ways, but they really don’t matter. For instance our meeting times. Almost every church I know of meets at the same time, on the same days. Here are some of Jim’s words about that:

Remember that the early church did not have Sundays as a day off until Constantine in the early 300s. They had to meet early in the morning before work or late in the evening after work, even on Sundays. If this day gets eaten up in commercial enterprise as the years go on, Christians are not going to miss out. We certainly can meet in the evening like our ancient forebears did during the greatest years of church expansion. Right?

This really hit home for me. My husband works a swing shift. He is not always able to be at church during the times we are having service due to being at work or having just gotten home at 6:00 am after a 12-hour shift. Do you have any idea how much it pains a  preacher who loves God’s  word to have to miss church? It is a lot. Other people I know have jobs where they work some or all of Sunday, or they have to work late on Saturday night and can’t make it on Sunday morning.

He goes on to mention how having bulletins, with everything for the service laid out can be a hindrance.  We can get so consumed by having a pattern (ex- sing X number of songs, pause for announcements, sing, have prayer, sing, take offering, preach, leave) that rather than letting the Spirit be our guide, we let our habits be our guide.  He even mentions having more than person share the message. That is what you see in the book of Acts. Actually, if you want to get technical, that is the way Jesus worshiped. Luke 4:16-22

He even mentions how we take offerings. Maybe have discreet boxes where it is easier to give without being noticed. Matthew 6:2-4 He mentions taking the Lord’s Supper in a different way. I really think we lose a lot of meaning by using a stale cracker and a tiny cup of juice. He talks about how we could do Sunday School in a different way. Why do we meet in sanctuaries, seated  neatly in our rows of pews? Why does singing always come before the message?

Let me clarify something, lest anyone think I am saying all churches that follow the typical model are of the devil. I do not necessarily think having a model of worship is a bad thing. I think that being so firm in our models is bad. i think that if we take liberty away from worship, we are treading in dangerous waters. For closing, I will share more of Mr. Elliff’s thoughts:

Though we love what the Reformation restored to us, we are more shaped by the Reformation structure and pattern than by the early church’s liberty and flexibility. The forms of the Reformation served well in that culture. They were new and fresh and within biblical boundaries. But must we be Reformation-like today? Yes, when it comes to the doctrines of God, man, salvation, etc., because the Reformation returned us to the Bible. But likely not when it comes to external forms. We must use our freedoms and rejoice in that liberty.

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