Passionate Or? … I don’t know about you, but for Al and me it has been a treasure to return to worship with our church community. Oh how we missed it, yet, if I were to be honest and since I am sending this to all of you I want to be brutally honest, until we got home and went back to church, I think we didn’t miss it as much. Does that make sense?

Yes, being camp-hosts takes away every-other Sunday, yet on those “off-Sundays” we were off doing something else. How’s that for honesty from a chaplain?! Yet we did watch our Pastor’s messages each week—at a time that was ‘convenient.’ Yikes, when did we lose our passion for gathering?

The pandemic is still with us, carefulness for one another should still be at our core, but so should worship and gathering safely. I must admit that it was quite easy to drift away and make God’s message through our ‘pastor shepherds’ on our time choices. We got out of our Sunday rhythm and we didn’t even realize it-ouch!!

There’s an old funny from Phyllis Diller that came to mind for this musing. She said, “once I decided to work at Macy’s. They put me in the perfume and beauty section, imagine that. One day this guy comes in looking for a gift for his wife. He asks me “Do you carry Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion?” I retorted with a snort, “If I did, honey, would I be working here?” Well that ended that job.

We can get a laugh from her but there is indeed a nugget of truth in her words. When we lose passion for something as precious as God’s Word and gathering to share and praise God, it’s like a job has ended and we go on to something else.

In Psalm 63:1 [NLT], we hear the cry of David in the wilderness of Judah, “O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.” David understood passion and his loss of it. He was tired of the wandering and wanted to be back in God’s presence.

Where are we with our passion for God and our church community? To me, passion is something no Christian should be without. Passion is the mark of knowing that my life has purpose in God’s plans, that each day God gives me another adventure with him. But, as I look back on these last 15 months, my passion for that easily waned like the burnt embers of a spent fire.

How did we lose such passion for wanting God, being in God’s presence and taking in God’s infinite joy and peace? Stuff of life—like a pandemic—yet God has already given us his miracle of vaccination, of talented people who make masks for us—what are we waiting for? Are we still afraid? Perhaps our new habits have now inhabited our daily lives, where God is there but not on the top of our priority list. Why is it so easy to squash the passion for something else instead of gathering to praise God together and hear God’s Word?

We need to have David’s eager pursuit of God. We must capture the thirst like David, who knew that nothing else on earth could truly satisfy his soul. And when we do embrace that passion, God responds filling us again and again as we walk our faith life hand-in-hand and in-sync with him. David said it best when he got back to his passion and pursuit of God’s Word and God’s presence in his words that continue in Psalm 63:

I have seen you in your sanctuary
    and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
    how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
    lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
    I will praise you with songs of joy.
I lie awake thinking of you,
    meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
    I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
    your strong right hand holds me securely.

I pray that each and every one of us picks up our ‘eager pursuit’ of God with passion and a renewed excitement for worship and gathering. In this crazy world we need all the daily inspiration we can get so why not go to the only Source that has it? AMEN!