Why is this guy hugging me...and why are we crying? Crying was not in his card deck and definitely not part of my life routine.
Just like many of us, he was fighting an ongoing internal battle. This strong and seemingly successful businessman felt stuck in the court of public opinion. His decisions and his routine had led him there and he needed someone to stand with him. Of course it was super awkward for a second, like standing on stage in your underwear singing a Lion King solo. But in that moment, we grew apathetic to public opinion because we knew that Jesus is holding the judge's gavel. So, we were OK with our long embrace and water works among 350 people on a rooftop in downtown Indianapolis. It was a routine-breaker.
The rooftop? 5th floor of the Regions Bank building.
The routine-breaker? The Celebration...a family-friendly live worship event hosted by Pub Theology, a ministry of Blackbird Mission Church, which included musical guests Eric Maitlen from My Yellow Rickshaw/Mercy Road Church, Aaron Pelsue Band, and Marc Imboden from The Gathering.
Life has been and always will be about relationships, not religion or routine. The First Church of Routine can become just another denominational church religion for many of us. Even following Jesus can become just a routine. During The Celebration, Daron Earlewine said that "if you feel stuck in a routine, then you might just be doing life instead of living your life." Expanding this point, following Jesus is more rhythm than it is routine.
Maybe you also seek approval in the courts of public opinion. Or maybe you are exhausted from the religious rat race in Western culture. Maybe you are worn out from the routine of checklist Christianity because faith seems full of to-do and to-don't lists. Or you feel stuck in a routine of just "doing" church, and you don't feel connected with Jesus. Or, quite frankly, you have never pursued a relationship with Jesus because of how you've been treated by Christians. Jesus says “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
So, back to all that crying and hugging...The Celebration allowed us to hit the snooze button on routine and re-calibrate our rhythm with Jesus.
The next Celebration event is scheduled for December 15th in the Murat Arabian Room. Stay tuned for more information by going to pubtheology.com or follow on Instagram or Twitter (@pubtheoindy) or the "Pub Theology Indy" on Facebook.
Don't create a routine. Find a rhythm.
(Shameless plug about the guest blogger: Andy Knopfmeier is a middle-aged somebody and calls himself a recovering faithaholic. He and his wife and kiddos in the Indianapolis area. They are passionate about connecting people to designed purpose and living out their passion. You can read Andy's blog at www.recoveringfaithaholic.com and follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @AndyKnopfmeier)