The Most!

2 06 2011

Dave Brockby David R. Brock
presiding evangelist

It’s not a hymn; more like a psalm-song, or psong (as gifted writer Joy Howard calls it). “The Most” by Lori McKenna is a psong for confession in worship.

Lyrics that are prayer because they are vulnerable ask honest, troubling questions in real-life language and end with glints of hope—colorful tiles in a mosaic of truth. There is not much God talk, but it is a start-right-where-you-are moment of confession that can end only in some derivation of “Please, God, lead my lost soul home!”

My life is a grocery store line
A “we’ll be just fine”
Don’t know how we survive, but we do

My life is an early spring snow
The last thread of hope
That I just keep hanging on to

My life is pieces of paper that I’ll get back to later
I’ll write you a story, how I ended up here
Why the little things make us and how long it takes us
To figure out what matters the most…

Someday, well, I’ll look back and wonder
Someday comes around a little quicker than they told you
Asking, “Did I do what I was supposed to in my life?”

How long will it take me to figure out what matters most? How long did it take you? How did you do it? Who was your guide? Will someone please tell me if I’m doing what I’m supposed to with my life?

Instead of giving our passion and energy to “what matters most” we may spend too much time asking, “What’s the matter?” which may become a judgmental, “What’s the matter with me?”

We’re either worrying about our own health and well-being or how we fail to measure up to our expectations…or someone else’s! And, if we get finished with “What’s the matter with me?” we are prone to focus on “What’s the matter with him (or her, or the huge indefinable them that is the other political party, denomination, faith community, nation, or cultural group)?”

I’ve heard Community of Christ congregations that spend a big piece of their pie chart of passion wondering, “What’s the matter with us?” “We’re so small, have such a tight budget, lack the quality of worship, preaching, teaching that is needed to grow, expand, serve!”

It’s a play on words in English, so it might not work in Urdu or Oriya, but what if every time we want to ask the “What’s the matter with ___?” question, we transformed it to “What matters most?”

What if we shifted our focus to God’s counsel as expressed in fresh ways in Section 164 of Doctrine and Covenants?

As President Steve Veazey stated in his April 10 address to the church, what matters most now is what mattered most from the beginning. It is what the prophet Isaiah, by the power of the Spirit, knew mattered most more than 2,500 years ago. It is what Jesus, by that same Spirit, knew mattered most some 2,000 years ago.

We know what matters most, at least in our best moments. If we have any lack of clarity about what that mission is, President Veazey’s sermon again makes it clear.

In August 1991 at the church in Springfield, Virginia, I stood with the congregation to sing the opening hymn for a prayer service at the in-town reunion. In the midst of that hymn, unbidden and unexpected, came upwelling Truth and indwelling Presence. And with them the clearest penetrating understanding: There is no greater joy than the joy of sharing the love of Jesus Christ. Twenty years later that truth holds and endures.

Makenna says,

My life is green grass through the snow
A sweet reckless hope
And baby, I know what matters the most

In the tongue spoken by disciples of Jesus in Community of Christ, we say, “The mission of Jesus Christ is what matters most for the journey ahead!”



One response

2 06 2011
William RAISER

I agree that the mission of Jesus matters most. I don’t believe we’ve yet got a very good hold on what that mission is. We’re playing “feel-good” church rather than developing the models of a Kingdom world and developing the tactics and strategies to move us in that direction.

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