I just came in from my morning walk.
My devotions led me to this.
“Children go where I send thee. How shall I send thee?🎶
This old spiritual is intriguing on many levels. It is a "cumulative” song that rehearsed Biblical/church history as well as taught lessons.
It is frequently used as a Christmas carol. Probably because of the first “sending”…
“One for the little bitty baby who was born, born, born in Bethlehem.” 🎶
I have been dwelling on this whole “go” thing for the last couple of weeks. It was the focus of one of the sermons I preached last Sunday. The other was so unfocused I have no clue where that one got sent!
When I was growing up holiness was pretty much understood as no smoking, no cussing (unless it related to sports), no playing rook, and no dancing. There were a few more things but they pretty much all began with “no.”
Now that I am on the other side of growing up I see holiness not as “no” but as “go.”
It is unlikely that the homeless woman or the addicted young man or the constantly condemned or the bullied child or the prisoner or the lost sheep or the WHATEVER will ever be touched by the “no.”
I know that you can tell me some miracle story about some guy in a drunken stupor in a flop house who got out a Gideon Bible…. Why do you think they call that a miracle story?!
In a world that apparently considers violence and greed and every abuse as King. In a world where darkness seems to reign and chaos is the only constant the “no” won’t cut it.
The Peaceable Kingdom of the “little bitty Baby” has to “go.”
On this side of growing up I have a much clearer vision of holiness. Lots of folks that I know who don’t cuss, smoke, dance, or drink and who attend church services “religiously” (except when on vacation of course) have hearts as cold as a walrus tusk. If you come to them they will dispense a grace that sounds an awful lot like a condemnation.
Conversely, I am intimately connected with some folks who are “rough around the edges”. They can make a sailor blush. But they “go.” And they are tender. And they don’t count the cost or consult the budget or accept the safety of “no.”
It seems to me that the story of our faith is about a Savior who, before we even knew we needed him, done got up and GONE to be “borned in Bethlehem."🎶
Holy folks like you know about the no and the go. Right?