Shall we pray?
Lord, we were serious.
We were serious when we knelt on those plain floors, pouring the agonies of our souls to you. We were serious when we prayed our hearts out in those lonely, cold nights. We were serious when, motivated by the zeal of our innocence, demanded a singular thing in this Christian journey. We were serious when we said, “You can take anything away from us but give us Jesus.” And so when we saw our loved ones die, our relationships collapse, our worlds turned upside down, days of persisting hunger, strange nights of piercing doubts, fogs of depression snapping the life out of our minds; it wasn’t crazy to still hold on, to still stand firm, to still cry and say, “Jesus is enough.” That’s because we were serious.
We were serious when we dared roaring lions and the fiery fire. We were serious when we prayed all night and sang all day and witnessed all week. We were serious when we shouted in frail, failing voice, from where we were patched in deserts and wilderness, when we said, “O Jesus, our soul longs for you just as the deer pants after the water.” For we cried, let your teaching drop as the rain, let your speech distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass, let your love grip our hearts. Your zeal. For we were serious.
And this morning, we confess again that we are still serious.
Even if for a minute that we seem distracted by our cares, fears, frailties, we are still serious. The world might sing a strange song, we are still serious. Even now when complacency grips the heart of some, we are still serious. Even when the pathway of the cross grows astonishingly unpopular, we are still serious. Though the deafening voices of mockers drown the seeming foolishness of biblical patterns, we are still serious. Even in the church, where brethren snare at us, question our outrageously perceived disciplines and values; in the church, where music and entertainment have replaced the emphasis on the quiet devotion of a burning heart, we are still serious; in the church, when we are tempted to flaunt the faith with attendant pride, craze for money, impurity and indifference to human need, we, still on our knees, humbly and fearfully, confess our seriousness.
O God, give us Jesus! Yes, we have Jesus. He is enough.
Lord, we are still serious.
In Jesus’ name….