A friend once gave me a Rubik’s cube for my birthday. My mind was initially boggled by the complexity. Six sides. Nine colorful squares per side. And the seemingly impossible goal of getting all those colors, sides, and squares to perfectly align. So complicated. I was flummoxed… Until this same cube-giving-birthday-friend shared a few simple thoughts on the first steps for how to sort out the Rubik’s cube. Armed with those simple thoughts, I was able to regularly align three of the six sides — and occasionally — the entire cube would fall into place!
There is a beautiful simplicity that can come on the far side of complexity. It’s usually a crucial bit of knowledge, wisdom, or practical insight that can unlock the door to such a hard-won simplicity.
Last week the Elder’s of ECRC published this resolution:
With a desire to promote a spirit of unity as we follow Jesus Christ (Romans 15:5), beginning in September 2021, we will adopt a single Sunday morning worship service that encourages worshipers to experience God through Bible-based and Spirit-filled worship.
Of the additional benefits that the Elders talked about as the fruits of this decision, several of them have to do with the blessing of simplicity. Here’s one of those benefits:
- To unify us on our mission to serve and witness in Jesus’s name (Matthew 28:18).
Elmhurst CRC is a congregation that endorses an “Up, In, and Out” vision of life in Jesus’s name. We connect “Up” to God in worship, adoration, lament, and praise. We connect “In” community with other believers, seeking God together, serving, and being served. And we are called to reach “Out” to those who are outside the family and knowledge of God in helpful, winsome ways.
Of the three dynamics, churches usually default to hyper-focusing on the “Up,” and it’s easy to see why: It’s public, it’s visible, and it happens once a week no matter what! The dark side of this reality is that what happens on Sunday can leave the community with little spiritual energy and horsepower for attending to how the Holy Spirit is pushing us “In” and “Out.”
If a Rubik’s cube solver always fixated on the yellow side of the cube, they would never enjoy solving the puzzle by bringing all the colors into alignment. I believe that having a single Sunday morning worship service will allow ECRC to have more God-given energy for bringing to life the other sides of whom God is calling us to be. Sunday morning simplicity will empower greater expressions of community and more vibrant outreach. This is a vision I’m committed to.
I had a recent dream in which Marie Kondo* became a member of our church. That’s probably not going to happen (she lives in L.A.), but I chose to interpret this dream as an affirmative sign from the Holy Spirit that we will find joy on the path to the Sunday-morning-worship-simplicity that the Elders are shepherding us toward.
May God bless you with such simplicity and joy in the midst of these complex days,
* Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant, author, and TV show host. Kondo's method of organizing is known as the KonMari method, and consists of gathering together all of one's belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that "spark joy.”