THE RHYME OF THE MODERN PARISHIONER
It happened in the vestibule at
ten one Sunday morn;
Then suddenly he rose and found
a hungry-looking Christian;
"You've read the Word; you
know the Book; the promises are clear.
Have you experienced holy fire,
the Spirit in His power,
Is there something more you're
seeking, so high, so wide, so deep?
Then listen well, you heart is
ripe; my tale I will tell.
For thirty years I've been in
church, it seemed like a good show.
I'm trapped in mundane worship
times, the praises have grown cold;
Each service feels like a
rerun, the songs all sound the same;
Words, more words, they're
everywhere, but oh there is a stink!
We lack the heavenly Presence,
it's clear we're in a rut;
I'm love-sick for my Jesus, so
hungry for my Lord;
Is there someone who can help
me, who's touched the real thing?
Are there prophets burning with
fire, servants who are ablaze?
Do they carry the Spirit's
burden, and breathe the Lord God's breath?
I hear the words of the Master,
'Come follow Me,' He said.
Oh please, don't do as I have
done, and waste so many years.
Forget the twelve step
programs; a seminar won't do.
There must be change in your
life, a work of God that's real.
Don't miss out on God's
Presence or let those hours pass;
Dear friend, you are not crazy;
dear saint, you are not mad;
There's more! There's more,
Believe it! There is that place in God.
Will you get up like old
Pilgrim, and seek that better way?
Will you go out now and meet
Him, and leave the crowd behind,
It's not in another meeting, a
nicely packaged hour;
It's not in another teaching,
three points to fill your head.
We need God to send His Spirit,
to fully take control,
Enough with man's religion;
enough with earthly plans;
Just then in strode the pastor
his calling to fulfill;
For astir was that parishioner
he grasped the preacher's clothes,
"Oh pastor, enter the
prayer room and shut yourself inside.
Pray for holy visitations,
caught up alone with Him,
You won't find Him in a
textbook, buried on page twenty-two.
It's not only the 'apostles',
He'll bless and send and use;
So arise, get up, and pursue
Him, Jesus your true best Friend!
Why should you starve on crusty
bread, and crawl along the ground?
Renew your life, refresh your
heart, press in, take hold, pray through.
Your Bible schooling stole your
zeal, church life has drained you dry;
You used to be so passionate,
so innocent and free.
Oh, set your sights on higher
goals and not on dollar bills,
Let Jesus be your daily Guide,
put Him where He belongs;
Simplicity will be your style,
devotion your new goal:
Oh, take your eyes off numbers,
church growth can be a trap!
Pour out your life for broken
lives, let God your heart break too.
Wake up, be brave, be honest;
today - oh hear His voice!
You won't find Him in your
planner, no committee has the key.
'There must be more than
building funds, and sessions past midnight,
Somehow I know I've been
misled; the model doesn't work.
I'm called to be a man of God,
a man who's Spirit-led,
And with that cry new life will
rise, your heart will be revived;
The parishioner then turned his
gaze away from flesh and blood:
"Today, oh Lord, do you
hear our voice, and pour Your Spirit out.
Revive us with Your Presence,
renew us from above;
Do greater works in our day
than that which you have done.
That old church-goer spoke no
more. Another voice was heard.
And if you listen closely,
beyond this little rhyme,