THEY’VE TAKEN AWAY MY LORD
John 20:13 Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” ¶ She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”
Mary’s heart was broken, Jesus was no where to be found, it was as if someone had taken Him away. Today, many Christians are like Mary, in their hearts they say “they have taken away my Lord”. They remember when there was an expectancy for the supernatural when they went to church; but now? It seems like much of what is called church today is about marketing, presentation, and results. The trappings of church are more like a motivational seminar rather than a place of prayer, worship, preaching, and, yes, miracles. Gone are the days of waiting in His presence, laying on of hands, altar calls, healing services. These “irrelevant, old fashioned, religious practices” are no longer necessary. The relevant churches have reinvented church in their own image! Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think any of this is new. It is just a new twist on an age old problem. Paul called it a form of godliness without the power of God. Aimee Semple McPherson preached a powerful message about this almost one hundred years ago. Listen to her haunting words.
“Poor Mary! Dear Mary, forgiven much, loving much, her heart was well nigh broken as she sat weeping at the empty tomb. Yet hundreds and thousands who today sit at an empty tomb a powerless, revival-less, church, devoid of the miraculous, prayer-answering Christ of the long ago, Jesus the great I Am wrapped in the slumber of worldliness and unbelief; higher criticism and formality, might well take up the cry of Mary: “they have taken away- they have taken away my Lord; taken away the Lord of the Bible – taken away the Great I Am, who is the same yesterday, today, forever; taken away the Deity of my Lord and Master – taken away the inspiration of the Scriptures that declare atonement through the precious blood – taken away the preaching of the old time born-again experience, and of the victorious life above the world and sin – taken away the old time altar calls – taken away the old all-night prayer meetings where saints of God were wont to lie upon their faces in prayer till a revival came down which swept the entire community – taken away the warmth, and fire, and faith, and fervor which they have now come to call emotionalism, and in its place they have left an empty tomb – my Lord they have taken away!”
Today, the new, hip churches have done away with “religious trappings”. They no longer display crosses, pulpits are rarely seen, and the hipster preachers don’t carry Bibles, that is just too uncool. If you just wandered into some of the services you might think you were at an Apple press conference announcing the newest gadget. I don’t want to be part of that kind of church. I think I want to be old fashioned, just give me Sister Aimee’s God. Maybe He will show up at church this week.