Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Contagious Intimacy

"While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping, and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites - men, women, and children - gathered around him.  They too wept bitterly" (Ezra 10:1).

One of the cheesiest and catchiest musicals I have ever seen was the first installment of High School Musical.  Though I enjoyed it, I've never been able to bring myself to watch any of the later productions!  The one scene that really intrigued me, although I am perfectly aware that it was theatrics and not reality, was the last musical scene of the movie.  They are all in the gym, the drums begin play, the music starts, they begin chant, and the two stars perform their solos.  And then..."We're all in this together..."  Each time the chorus of the song is sung, more and more people come out onto the gym floor, to sing, clap, and dance to this "spontaneous" song!  It was, well, contagious.  And, sitting in my living room watching this movie, I had such an urge to get up and join them.  I'll leave it to your imagination!  The question that really began to burn in my own thinking was this: "What if we prayed, worshiped, and lived out-loud for Jesus Christ in the same way that is depicted in this film?"  Perhaps they wouldn't quickly join in, but they would know the passion, the unity, and the love that we have with Jesus, in Jesus, and because of Jesus.

Ezra's act of repentance, prayer, and worship wasn't just between him and God.  It was noticed.  It was obvious - out loud and on purpose.  It was contagious.  It was caught.  It wasn't just a few people that came to peek in at what was going on, but it was a large crowd.  Not only did they come to see, but they joined him.  They saw the intensity and the determination of his passion for God.  They didn't have that, and they wanted it.

When we are unafraid of the crowd and focused on Jesus, people take notice and begin to long for that kind of connection.

The everyday challenge is to answer the question: "Do people see you get intimate with God?"  No, it's not about you showing off and trying to be noticed.  But, it is about a commitment to live for Jesus in such a way that is not hidden, secret, or private.  Jesus called you the "light of the world."  You have been called a light, and a light shines!  Refuse to be so private that it would allow people to question where God is in your life.  Desire and determine your passion to be an example in worship, prayer, confession, and repentance.  Let people see your love for Jesus!  You may be the only one they're seeing it in.

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