I believe that much of the evangelical church has missed out on a remarkable experience in it’s Christian expression and faith, the celebration and remembrance of Holy Week. Paul taught that Christ is the head and the members of His body are the Church. Each part of the body has a different expression of Christianity, but it cannot be done away with, or the body would not operate correctly.
Many Charismatic circles speak out against the ‘traditional liturgy’ of some people and church’s, they declare “Christ did not die for religion or a certain set of rules in which we are to do things! Be free of the shackles of religion and tradition.”
Then there are the more traditional circles of faith, and many of them lift their noses high and declaire, “Have they no respect for tradition? Have they no respect of the rich history we get to partake in? Surly they are too filled with the Holy Spirit and need to rightly understand that what they do is not true Faith.”
The bottom line, they are right. Misunderstood, yes, but right. We need every expression of Christianity there is! We are the body, and together we are an unstoppable force! As long as it does not stray into heretical teachings, we all can learn from each other.
I would be considered a charismatic follower of Jesus. I believe in the over abundant filling of Holy Spirit. I believe that miracles still happen today. I believe we are called and predestined to do greater works than what Jesus did while He walked the earth, minus death on a cross.
I am so very grateful for the Church I attended in Brooklyn Park, MN. At that time it was called Brooklyn Park Lutheran Church or BPLC, soon after I left to move to another state they changed their name to Discover Church. I cannot speak to the current condition of that church, however at the time the Lead Pastor, Todd Wallace was an extraordinarily bright man! He had a deep appreciation for liturgy and the traditions and old expressions of the faith. And then there was one of the Associate Pastors, Todd Bullock, He was one of the most tender hearted people you will ever meet, He was also very bright, but He has captivated by the Love of Jesus in a different way than Pastor Wallace. You see Pastor Bullock was much more charismatic, tho both pastors had very similar theological beliefs, their experiences with Jesus were very different, and it deeply impacted how they practically loved Him. It was a great environment to learn the imperfect balance of both expressions of Faith and Life in Jesus.
And so, regardless of the expression of faith in Jesus that speaks to you the most, we are called to the same thing:
36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” – Mat 26:36-38 NKJV
There is a great intimacy that is available to all followers of Jesus. Jesus took 3 of the disciples with Him to watch and pray with Him. In the greatest time of need, Jesus wanted His closest friends with Him. We are all able to enter into that reality, but it is not something that “just happens”. It was the relationship that they had formed with Jesus over the 3 years of His ministry, they were His most trusted friends and followers.
All of His disciples minus Judas Iscariot were there with Him, they all were invited to be in the garden with Him! A select few were able to go on a little further with Him!
How close do you want to be to Jesus? You really have 4 options:
- Where Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, able to hear Jesus pray and see the blood drip off of His brow
- Where the other disciples were, with Jesus, but just beyond where you probably can not see what he is doing very well
- Not even in the garden
- With Judas Iscariot on His way to arrest and betray Jesus