"A Copernican Revolution of the Soul… and the Church"

YouTube helps me once again to be about a humorous beginning working toward a most serious end: namely, our acknowledging and repenting of a “it’s all about me” approach to Christianity, both as individuals and as communities. Yes, we need what I call a “Copernican Revolution of the Soul.”

But, not so heavy, Jim… Not so fast!

To invite us into this truth with a laugh (isn’t it amazing how a good laugh opens us up to serious truths? how laughter can help us to lower our guard?)… To gingerly invite us into this truth, then, I turn to YouTube. Two videos posted there (from the worship video generator/distributor which is sermonspice.com) poke fun at a ego-centric mentality we see in our culture–if not in our own hearts:

There’s the “Invitation” to “Me Church”:

And, then, there’s my favorite, the “promo” for a “classic” CD collection, “It’s All About Me:”

Laughter still ringing, perhaps, its time to confess (in my own life… and in so much of the church)… It’s time to confess that “it’s not about me”–though, in fact, there are so many conscious and unconscious ways I/we make it about me/us!

As Copernicus got in our face nearly 500 years ago and told us that we are not the physical center of the universe (that the universe does not revolve around us), even so we need to come down off our high horse and admit that this world does not revolve around us and our small, egocentric agendas.

I am not alone in this conviction. I have read it elsewhere… and owe a great debt to others.

Like Max Lucado (remember his book, It’s Not About Me?):

What Copernicus did for the earth, God does for our souls. Tapping the collective shoulder of humanity he points to the Son—his Son—and says, “Behold the center of it all.”…

When God looks at the center of the universe, he doesn’t look at you. When heaven’s stagehands direct the spotlight toward the star of the show, I need no sunglasses. No light falls on me.

Lesser orbs, that’s us. Appreciated. Valued. Loved dearly. But central? Essential? Pivotal? Nope. Sorry. Contrary to the Ptolemy within us, the world does not revolve around us. Our comfort is not God’s priority. If it is, something’s sone awry. If we are the marquee event, how do we explain flat-earth challenges like death, disease, slumping economies, or rumbling earthquakes? If God exists to please us, then shouldn’t we always be pleased?

Could a Copernican shift be in order? Perhaps our place is not at the center of the universe. God does not exist to make a big deal out of us. We exist to make a big deal out of him. It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s all about him. (Lucado, p. 4f.)

Or like John Ortberg:

Humility has nothing to do with submitted willingness. It involves a healthy self-forgetfulness. We will know we have begun to make progress in humility when we find that we get so enabled by the Holy Spirit to live in the moment that we cease to be preoccupied with ourselves, one way or the other. When we are with others, we are truly with them, not wondering how they can be of benefit to us.

Indeed, humility involves a Copernican revolution of the soul, the realization that the universe does not revolve around us. Humility always brings a kind of relief.

Humility, if we could grow into it, would not be a burden. It would be an immense gift. Humility is the freedom to stop trying to be what we’re not, or pretending to be what we’re not, and accepting our “appropriate smallness.” In Luther’s words, humility is our decision to “let God be God.” (from The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg)

Friends, it is about me and it is about you. But not in the ways we think. It’s about us losing ourselves, taking up the cross, and finding our only orbit around Him.

O Lord,
Through the tears of laughter, soften me up…
So that the greater tears of repentence may flow.
“I bow down. I lay my crown at the feet of Jesus…”
That’s battle enough. (I’ll leave the rest to You!)
Amen.

 

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