A Conversation on Race & Worship

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Very rarely does Jordan get to sit down with his wife Katrina and talk about their experiences over the lat ten years of being an interracial couple in worship ministry. We hope this podcast can begin a new conversation or encourages those already having these important conversations!

"This week Jimi sat down with Jordan and Katrina Frye to discuss their experience with race and worship ministry. Katrina and Jordan are gracious and transparent as they discuss their marriage and some of the difficulties they’ve encountered being an interracial couple"

AFTER THE FIREWORKS

We’re about a month into the new year, and I would say my conversations with most of my friends thus far pretty much fall into one of two categories: 1. Crushing it, or 2. Being crushed...

If you’re crushing it this year, I’m honestly really happy for you. We all are. You’ve officially taken 2017 by the proverbial bull horns and managed to reign it in, somehow. It’s awesome, it’s impressive, and by no means do I want to thwart your momentum towards greatness. But, to all my people out there who have already lost sight of their new year’s resolution, lost track, messed up, screwed up, and officially fallen flat on your face, this blog is for YOU.

Below are 3 things to keep in mind that have helped me along the way through thousands of failed attempts, unmet goals, and undesired results despite my best efforts.

1. IT'S WORSE THAN YOU THINK

Your sin is actually worse than you think it is. I know this sounds harsh, but it’s the truth, and the truth sometimes hurts. Jesus didn’t die on the cross because you didn’t uphold your own new years resolutions. He died for you because you are utterly helpless to accomplish anything of eternal significance in your own strength.  Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” In other words, your heart has a proclivity not only towards decline, but death itself. 1 John 3:15 says, “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer.” Jesus Himself says in Matthew 5:28 “Anyone who looks at another lustfully has already committed adultery with him/her in his/her heart.” So theologically you not only failed to eat healthier, be a better person, refrain from pornography, spend less money, and/or start that new project, but you managed to become a murderer, a liar, and a cheat. That's not to hit you while you're down, it's just to say your spiritual condition is actually so much worse than than your un-met home-improvements. The Bible says your heart isn't a merely house undergoing remodel, but a home completely wiped out by natural disaster, devastated and leveled to the ground. Your heart, despite your best self-help efforts, is desperately wicked, unimaginatively deceitful, and worse than you could know.

2. BUT, you’re a new creation

The Good News is that in and through Christ Jesus, your life is being made entirely brand new (2 Corinthians 5:17). You're a new creation! The old is gone, and the new has come. No matter what you’ve done or failed to do today or for decades to come - God has wiped your slate clean through Jesus’ own blood. You’re forgiven. You’re made right with God because of His once-and-for-all sacrifice, and unconditional love for you. Romans 8:1 reminds us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” In other words, even if you are crushing this year, living out the law beautifully, which is in and of itself is debatable and at the very least unlikely (see 1. above), it’s still only in Jesus do we have real victory stepping into 2017 anyways. Plus we know that nothing can separate us from His love. (Romans 8:31) That's a resolution worth holding on to.

3. So keep going!

Don’t give up, don't look back, and don’t listen to that old voice of the enemy! Ever heard this familiar whisper in your head, “Oooh, you’ve screwed up so bad this time - I don’t think God can use you anymore..” or “Wow, amazing, you’re doing so well - you don't need any help anymore - you got this!”? Well, I have too, and I'm telling you, that voice only leads towards more self-destruction. The voice of Truth; the voice of God says, "Keep going! Keep running! When you fall, I'll pick you back up!" If by chance you’re still reading this than that means this next part is specifically for YOU for 2017: Hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speak to you through the real and raw confession of the Apostle Paul, Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

So if the fireworks have faded, and you feel like you’re already being crushed by 2017, just remember:

  1. It's worse than you think (Jer 17:9)
  2. But cheer up, you're a new creation (2 Cor 5:17)
  3. KEEP GOING! (Phil 3:12-14)

And listen to my friend, Ignacio

FINDING FREEDOM

“Blessed are the people who know how to praise you. They walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They find joy in your name all day long. They are joyful in your righteousness because you are the glory of their strength.” Psalms 89:15-17

 

I’ve always wondered if there was a “right” way to worship God. So many times I’ve entered into church services or worship nights’ wide-eyed, looking around for affirmation from others that I am doing it right – that my response to God’s presence is good enough or appropriate. It’s like when you were a kid learning to play baseball for the first time. You know you have to hit the ball, but what is your batting stance suppose to look like? When you walk up to the plate, you immediately look to your coach and teammates for direction. You ask yourself, “am I bending my knees enough? Is the bat high enough? Are my shoulders down? Am I looking the right way? Do I know where I want to hit the ball? And when that ball finally heads towards me at full speed, am I actually going to connect with it or will it fly right past me?” Sometimes, this is how I feel when I enter into worship.

It’s easy for me to get caught up in all the moving pieces and find myself asking God, “Am I doing it right? Am I connecting with you? Did I hit the mark?” Psalms 89 says, “Blessed are the people who know how to praise you.” So, how do I know? How do we know when we enter into worship that we are praising God and doing it well? Over the past few months, I’ve found myself wrestling with these questions and what I’ve realized is my definition of worship was totally warped! I held worship at a distance. It was something I stepped in and out of when I entered and left church. But that is NOT worship! Worship is an everyday, all the time practice.

Romans 12:1 says this: “Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to- work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering.” 

What if we lived our everyday lives EXPECTING the glory of God to dwell in us? 
What would it look like to be so AWARE of God’s presence in conversations, in the grocery store, or on our way to work? 

As Christ followers, we have the opportunity to worship God in every moment of our days because He has made His dwelling place in us! God puts His Spirit in us and where His Spirit is there is freedom - freedom to dance, sing, shout, kneel, cry, and praise Him all day long (2 Cor 3:17)! The great thing about this way of worshipping is that there is no right or wrong way of doing it. The pressure is off because God’s Spirit is freedom. We are free to be our broken and human selves - to not sit wide-eyed looking around for approval or affirmation. Our everyday, ordinary lives placed before God is enough.

 

MEGAN SISK // SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR 


MEGAN SISK IS A GRADUATE STUDENT AT FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR FOR URBAN RESCUE AND WIFE TO NOLAN SISK (ELECTRIC GUITARIST). HER PASSION IS TO SEE PEOPLE INVEST IN INTENTIONAL COMMUNITIES AND EXPERIENCE THE LOVE OF JESUS THROUGH DISCIPLESHIP AND WORSHIP.