Friday, February 24, 2012


I need you like a hurricane
Thunder crashing wind and rain
Tear my walls down, I'm only yours now
I need you like a burning flame
A wild fire untamed
Burn these walls down, I'm only yours now
I'm only yours now
- chorus from Hurricane, by Jimmy Needham

There are a lot of tough things about the season of Lent.  Number one maybe the purpose of renewal.  The period of Lent was initially formed around the 40 day period of preparation for baptism; a time of intense study and reflection.  In many denominations baptism is center to the celebration of Easter, often happening in the early morning hours as the sun rises.  So Lent is also a time for preparation; maybe preparation for renewal?

This journey toward renewal begins for Methodists (and those denominations that follow the Revised Common Lectionary) begins on Ash Wednesday with our Confessional Psalm, Psalm 51.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. - Psalm 51:10

This Sunday at our church, we'll be introducing Hurricane by Jimmy Needham in worship. 

For three years I lived and did ministry in Slidell, LA (just across the lake from New Orleans).  It was three years Post-Katrina when I moved there from Texas, but with my over-sensitive self, I tried to avoid any disaster related language in the music I chose for worship.

Then I heard our youth band offer this song in worship.  Changed my life a little.

In this song, Jimmy Needham calls on God to break him down, tear him all the way down, and make him new and totally belonging to God.  This idea of being torn down and made new is central to Christian teaching and the calling of our whole life by Christ.  But we lose sight of it time and time again. 

This is where the Christian Year comes to our aid so many times ... Lent and it's time of reflection always comes back around.  But while it's an intentional time for that purpose, what good does it do if it doesn't encourage self-reflection and penitence year round?

Also, what if we don't realize that we need to be made new?

We are told at our baptism that we rise as new creations, but do we stop being made new there?

Christ invites us to pray intentionally for newness every single day.  We are called to look out into the world, and find our hearts broken, and then pray for God to put it back together right.  Then we can do the ministry that is required.