Being king would be great. Everybody running to bring you great food and obey your every bidding. Oh, and a court jester —if he isn’t too creepy —would be fine. Being king would be great.
But we’re not; are we? We are not kings, not counts or dukes. Just us. We are just plain folk with jobs and bills and hopefully a few years of retirement to do something we want to do. Many of us have children and grandchildren who love us. That’s life. Is it?
“No,” someone said.
It isn’t because of the one force that must be reckoned with, the force with a name that wasn’t to be spoken, a name whose utterance was blasphemy yet now is our saving grace. That sweetest of names is so sweet, so invested with power, that even the ignorant curse with that name — by the ignorant-handling of the name by the person cursing — proves its sacred power.
At 10:45 a.m. we sit in our pews, or padded chairs if we’re contemporary, and stand to sing. We offer what we can afford in our economy of poverty. Meanwhile, across the street, the screens stare blankly in rooms littered with the disasters of the night before in a ragged grasping for something to recall. They’re just trying to make life count — not being a count, a duke or a king.
And while we sing songs we don’t quite get and then lock the doors, the force with the Name fumes at our hubris in living within ourselves. A simple invitation would do. Crack the door and invite the King of Glory to burst in among us. Open the door and run like crazy having drunk the distillation of joy.
Because this is no simple force. This is love unbounded, crashing from “out there” into our foyers and platforms, bursting our hearts with mainlined love that sweeps us into a tizzy of irrationality.
The jobs and bills, hopes for a new car, and retirements plans now stand distant from us, as faded childhood memories of a rainy day: It was gray — nothing like this. I can hardly recall the allure of the musty rain.
This is more, simply stated. More. Better. Way more better. The real King is in the house. The King has brilliance and passionate love to overtake us all in His blinding bright, to run us over if we don’t step lively, to sweep us into the beauty of the holy, to consume us with reasons that look a lot like children of the Name who even now are slowly brewing coffee trying to sort out why to go on, as they pick up the litter from the night before.
There, my friend, the invitation lies. It lies where you dropped it. Pick it up. I dare you. Tremble, yes, but pick it up. Hold it out. Hold it out to the Name who awaits crouched in the ante parlor of the church, right under the umbrella hooks. The Name awaits, awaits, awaits still the invitation.
Bishop David Roller served for 17 years as a Free Methodist missionary in Mexico and then for 10 years as Latin America area director for Free Methodist World Missions. He was first elected a bishop in 2007.2