“The organ’s stopped its playing,
Everyone’s gone home,
And I’m here, wishing that somehow we could meet.
You and me, all alone, in Your house.
I don’t know how to say it,
I guess that I’ll just play it, by ear…
Meet me here.”
The words of this song echo the crushing frustration of so many who have encountered an empty religion in our day that does not bring people into a personal encounter with the Living God. The common experience of “going through all the motions” and finding yourself alone is devastating the testimony of our churches.
There is nothing new about this experience. When Jesus confronted the religious leaders of the day, His estimation of their futility was exactly what is being seen today. These leaders were totally confused about where, and in whom to find life. It’s not about the “motions” we go through, but about the “Messiah” we come to!
We want to “do it ourselves.” That is why the Pharisees did not look to the Savior. That is why it has become so common for the church to “go through the motions.“ That is why we can feel so empty in our efforts to worship. In our religious activity, we are screaming, “I’ll do it myself!”
The end of our human ability is our opportunity to turn to God. Giving up our independence to depend on God isn’t easy. We are often like the woman in this story reported in the Los Angeles Times:
A screaming woman, trapped in a car dangling from a freeway transition road in East Los Angeles, was rescued Saturday morning…A half dozen passing motorists stopped, grabbed some ropes from one of their vehicles, tied the ropes to the back of the woman’s car, and hung on until the fire units arrived. A laddar was extended from below to help stablilize the care while firefighters tied the vehicle to tow trucks with cables and chains.
“Every time we would move the car,” said one recuer, “she’d yell and scream. She was in pain.”
It took almost 2 ½ hours for the passers by, CHP officers, tow truck drivers, and firefighters –about 25 people in all–to secure the car and pull the woman to safety.
“It was kinda funny,” L.A. County Fire Capt. Ross Marshall recalled later. “She kept saying, I’ll do it myself.”
I believe that Jesus is saying to us today: “Can we talk?” When are we going to stop “trying” and start “trusting?” Our own efforts and energies will always leave us empty. Only Jesus can give us the life we are longing for.
I must admit, apart from Jesus, I am just a “dead man walking.” Without Him, I am nothing. Apart from Him, I can do nothing. Yes, Jesus, it is time for you and I to talk. I need you. I long for you and your life….