True Worshipers Recieve - Worship and Our Inability

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Tonight, we will start with a passage from Matthew 11, but we will jump around a bit, so get those “Sword Drill” fingers ready.
Matthew 11:25–30 ESV
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
When we look at this passage, I cannot help but think of the polar opposites of the passage - hidden from the wise, revealed to the little children. That has always struck me as a bit counter cultural.
And, I am not alone in that. Many of those of my generation, in particular - the disaffected, Gen X’ers who were the original latch-key kids. We were the kids who came home by ourselves, while our parents were at work, and ate cereal watching Schoolhouse Rock in the living room.
Later, we were called the MTV Generation, back when MTV played music videos (what a novel concept!). And on MTV and on the radio we were confronted with artists who questioned authority, talked negatively about conservative morality, and focused on being rebellious. I mean, I still have lodged in my brain a lyric from the hair-metal band Cinderella, from the song “Shelter Me,” that talks about the PMRC (Parent Music Resource Center), the group that was responsible for putting the “Parental Advisory” stickers on records beginning in the 1980s. In part, the lyrics say this:
Every now and then we all need to let go For some it's the doctor For me it's rock and roll For some it's a bottle For some it's a pill Some people wave the Bible Cause it's giving them a thrill Others point their finger If they don't like what they see If you live in a glass house Don't be throwing rocks at me
Tipper lead the war against the record industry She said she saw the devil on her MTV To look into the cabinet It takes more than a key Just like Jimmy's skeletons And his ministry
In this song from 1990, we see the Bible referenced as something that the conservative-types wave to get a thrill. We see a name drop of Tipper Gore, wife of former Vice President Al Gore. Tipper at the time was the head of the PMRC, and the main champion for labeling music so that explicit content was not as easily accessible to children. This, as you can expect, put her specifically, and the committee in general, in the cross-hairs of musicians who didn’t want to be “censored.”
We also see a jab at Jimmy Swaggart, famous for his moral impropriety and televangelist persona.
But this blatant rejection of scripture was not the only thing going. One of the biggest bands at the time, and still one of the most famous bands, is U2. Now U2 is fronted by a guy named Bono, and Bono has made a name for himself for being bombastic, overly preachy about all sorts of stuff, but also a “man of faith.”
The mid to late 80’s saw U2 release songs like “Where the Streets Have No Name,” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” songs that have allusions to the Gospel and to the ministry of Jesus.
I am currently reading Bono’s autobiography, and let me tell you, it is wild. So many pages devoted to faith and spiritual matters, interspersed with course language and values that don’t seem to align with scripture. As someone who has studied theology and feels very much called to teach and sing theology properly, reading the entitled theological musings of a secular songwriter and celebrity who’s hermeneutic is “How can the Bible fit with how I want to see the world?” I can understand a bit better how Christ would pray that prayer - “You have hidden these things from the wise…and revealed them to the little children.”
It’s no coincidence that Jesus tells us that we must be like the children to enter the kingdom.
Children are dependent. Adults are independent.
Think about this. How many of you (especially guys) ask for help willingly and without any hesitation?
I know I don’t. I will go out of my way to figure out how to do something, instead of asking for help. How many times do we get into situations that are downright dangerous because we are too proud or too stubborn to ask for help?
Now, what about a gift? How many of you gladly and non-grudgingly receive gifts well?
Even at my birthday, I don’t want people making a fuss over me with gifts. It’s uncomfortable to be given things, especially if it is a gift that you know you cannot repay.
I was once given an expensive Drew Brees jersey, while we lived in New Orleans, at a time when we were barely scraping by. I knew I would not be able to repay that gift. It was something that I simply didn’t have the resources to pay back. And the person who gave it to me didn’t expect payment. But I was uncomfortable receiving it.
We treat God like that sometimes.
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