Monday, August 07, 2006

Leaky Roof... an Addendum

I'd like to comment on something I find really cool about the previous post. I've done a lot of teaching on worship over the past 20+ years. One of the points I have made has to do with the Biblical understanding of the word "praise".

Years ago, Hebrew professor Dr. Ron Allen taught me something that's found in his book "Praise: A Matter of Life and Breath". To teach the point he made, I've told a story... a parable - if you will.

There was a man (I usually tell the story as if it happened to me) who had a leaky roof. It was really bad. Every night when it rained, he wondered where the water would come in to his house that night.

One day, a friend found out that his roof was leaking. He came over to help patch the roof and found that the roof was beyond repair, and would need to be replaced. But the man didn't have enough money to pay for a new roof. This friend said, "let me see what I can do."

A few days later, the friend showed up with tools, materials, and workers to put a new roof on the house. They worked hard; and in a week's time, they had a new roof on the house.

Now, as you can imagine, the man with the leaky roof is overwhelmed with gratitude for this act of kindness. He didn't ask them to do it; he didn't even tell them I needed it; but they came and gave and worked because they loved him.

In our culture, when it was all finished, I would shake their hands and say "thank you". However, if I lived in Hebrew culture during Bible times, I wouldn't say that. You see, the concept of "thank you" didn't exist. Instead, my response would be to shake their hand and say to them "I will tell your name." And then I would go around the community and brag on the kindness of those who had helped me. I might say "Do you know Brad?... You don't? Well, let me tell you about him. See he heard that my roof was leaking and he talked with Aser and they rounded up some guys and materials..." and I proceed to tell the story.

Biblical praise is the "I will tell your name." It's bragging on God for who He is and what He's done, and what He will do in the future.

So, I just think it's pretty amazing that after 20 years of using that illustration, I'm now living it.

Thanks God... I'm gonna tell your name.


Jennifer said...

I love this. So many of us talk about how we should/could be Christ in the world but don't ever take action...these guys are modeling for us, in so many ways, how to DO it.

Cheryl T. said...

Thank you for saying "yes" to the roof project. It was a blessing to us! As one of my girls said, "it was like in the olden days when people helped each other put up barns because the job was just too big to do by themselves. They were like one big family and just did things like that."

I'm so thankful for the opportunity to show our kids in a very real way that they are part of a big family too--one that 'just does things like that' because of Jesus and the love we have for one another; and that offering a cup of cold lemonade can be a sacred act. Thanks!

sandy g. said...

I agree with both of my Sister's comments. We are all part of a big family and we should take care of each other as brothers and sisters. You take care of us every week that you're there as you lead us into the presence of God. Thanks for challenging us and for not settling for the ho hum, just going through the motions type of "worship". Thanks also for being real and for your transparency.