Saturday, August 12, 2006

Matisyahu has it Easy - Heritage in a Time of Reformation

See 21st Century Reformation Matisyahu Concert Review Here

As many of you know, I took my son and some friends to see Matisyahu on Aug 9th. The next day after contemplating Matisyahu’s message I was struck by our own lack of heritage. Matisyahu is a Hassidic Jewish reggae musician with a very clear and concise message. His music is a proclamation to his Jewish brothers and sister to return to the fold. The message goes something like this. “I went out into the world. I got lost and was empty and troubled, but God is faithful. He sought me and found me and now I have come to realize that leaving our heritage is not the right path. I tried the world but God is good. He will lead us through the wilderness. He will see us through and exalt us one day. We are like the wanderers in Exodus. We need to stick it out and stay faithful and God will be our help and our redeemer. Return to your heritage”.

When I think of doing evangelistic work to the world around us, we do not have the luxury of calling people back to the faith of the fathers. For the world around us has no heritage. Also, when I think of my own children, what are the deep roots that they can turn to and embrace? Have we too forsaken our roots and our heritage?

Many people and families in the house church movement have left the heritage of their father’s and have found it necessary to leave the church in order to find healing from Jesus. This leaving comes with a great cost. What now is our heritage and our roots? What is the story of our people? Are we now a people without history? This of course is not true. We are part of something bigger than ourselves. We are part of the expansion of the kingdom throughout the centuries. But we need concrete heritage. We need some place to return to to connect with our roots. When these roots have four walls and a foundation, this has sacramental and concrete meaning for us as people. But when we live with little covenant commitment that can withstand generations and when we are a transient people, moving from state to state, then we lose any reality to our heritage.

We have only two choices?
We either go back to a people with heritage like the heritage of our father’s or we covenant with one another to build a people that have staying power beyond our own lifetimes. It is foolish and shallow to forsake the idea of heritage. To have no heritage is to have no story and to have no story is to have no identity and to have no identity is to have no community.

The answer is that we must dive into building a new move people which has connection to the kingdom story and has a personal story and history or we return to the established communities of faith around us. To simply sit as a people without a heritage without a place called home is to be the choose an option that is ultimately individualistic and altogether contrary to our most core value of Morally Beautiful Covenantal Community.
God Bless,

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