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Resilience: A Sabbath Worship Experience


I was 16. It was a bright afternoon and I was riding with my parents home from Bend Oregon to Madras Oregon. The radio was on the local Christian station. Off to the right, Smith Rock towered over the high desert. I’ve always liked the area around Smith Rock. It’s called Terrebonne, and there is little wonder that it means good land. Despite the brown hills around, in this small stretch of highway 97 green grass encircles dark juniper trees. The place reminded me of a song called “The Color Green:” a Celtic sounding reel that expressed the how the very land sings God’s song of life. I was lost in the midst of some insignificant thought as we turned from the green land toward the Crooked River gorge. I remember every detail of that moment. A voice came on the radio, broken – raspy. “Rich Mullins was killed last evening when his Jeep rolled over, and he was hit by a semi truck which was following behind.” Rich Mullins was as close to a picture of Jesus as I knew of at the time, and I was just beginning to really fall in love with his music, so to hear that he was killed shook me. Mullins had written “The Color Green” and to have someone with such an idea of life surrounding him die was a fresh and terrible perspective to me at that age. While Mullins’ journey ended, my journey with his works, thoughts, and life continued. To this day, I find myself challenged by his perspectives that are both raw, and unyieldingly faithful and humble at the same time.

Last week we explored the idea of doubt’s integral role in faith. While many would consider it self-evident that, like all states of mind, worship is to a great deal transcendental thanks to the recognition of qualia, Thomas J. Zwemer, in his comments on the service, made a powerful balancing point, stating that worship “has a divine person who is the object of our adoration and praise.” It is this adoration in Rich Mullins’ expression through which I was and still am brought to the posture of worship – that acknowledgement of someone who changes me. This week we visit another picture of faith: faith in the garb of resilience and dependence. How does one acknowledge doubt and still adhere to such bold belief while still persistently being humble? To what degree are we all participants in this journey of paradox?

Introit: The Mission / How Great Thou Art – ThePianoGuys

I Need Thee O I Need Thee – Acapella Arrangement – Sam Robson

Call to Prayer: How Deep the Fathers Love – Liberty Campus Band

Opening Prayer: The Gift by Li Young Lee – Langston Ward

Rich Mullins – Sharing

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