The Future Of The Church
February 2, 2009
Bach’s Goldberg Varations Concert
March 10, 2009


How well do we know God?
John Watson’s book, Psychological Care of Infant and Child, published in 1928, has this advice for parents: Treat children “as though they were young adults… Never hug and kiss them, never let them sit in your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say good night. Shake hands with them in the morning…”

I haven’t read Mr. Watson’s book, but I’m full of questions. What did his kids look like? (Maybe he just had super ugly kids.) How did he keep from kissing them? (Obviously, he’s never seen my kids. Complete strangers find themselves compelled to pucker up and beg for a kiss.) I want to know what a parent was to do when a child skinned her knee, or had a bad dream, or had a pet die or was bullied at school.

I’m pretty sure these are things a firm handshake wouldn’t cure. Seems like these situations require a child to run into arms of love.

Scripture tries to show us the relationship God desires to have with us in many ways. Behold the metaphors: We’re his children. He’s our Master. It’s like a marriage. It’s like being different parts of a body. Jesus is our brother.

The book of James talks about Abraham’s relationship God and calls them friends. In the book of John, Jesus says we can be His friends.

John 15:13-15a
13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends…

Friend of God. Is that a title we could bear? Friendship requires an investment of thought, time and intention.

Our gathering here is more than an item on a checklist. It should involve more than a handshake. It’s a precious moment spent with a friend who knows us deeply. It’s time spent with a friend who cares about our most agonizing wounds and our toughest battles. But this isn’t just a shoulder to cry on or someone to commiserate with. It’s time spent with some who has the answers and can fix the problems. He’s the author of life. His presence transforms us.

[This is a post in a series. For more Calls to Worship see http://calebnei.com/calebnei/come-and-worship/.]

Caleb Nei is the Worship Arts Director at Emmaus Church in Berryville. He also teaches at least 40 piano lessons each week, is a member of the band Stereoreel, plays piano jazz at a couple of restaurants when Stereoreel isn’t playing, has three children, one wife and loves where God has him. He has a degree in church music from Huntington University and has studied jazz at Shenandoah University. He has no additional hobbies because he’s one of those people who have been able to get a job doing what he’d do for free anyway.

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