Save Time and Preach Like Never Before. Try the new
that we have lost sight of our real mission. And what is that mission? Our mission is to reach and to teach, to find and to redeem, the least, the lost, and the lonely. Our brothers and sisters are wandering, distracted, off on the wrong track, and it is our task to reach with the good news of a redeeming Christ. But in our elder-brotherism, we really do not expect anything special to happen. We really do not think that down-deep, conversion happens, the kind of conversion that turns a person totally around, heart and soul, mind and emotions, relationships and affections. We who have been church folks for a hundred years or so have forgotten that out there are brothers and sisters who desperately need what only Christ can give. We have forgotten that they belong to us, so that when they come home, we should be among those rejoicing over what once was lost but now is found, was blind but now can see. Too often that just doesnít happen.

If we are infected with the spirit of the elder brother, we get anxious when somebody does come home. We get uncomfortable when a heart is deeply touched and tears flow or laughter rings out or bodies shake. The Shakers sang about this in ďLord of the dance.Ē

I danced on the sabbath when I cured the lame, the holy people said it was a shame; they whipped and they stripped and they hung me high, and they left me there on the cross to die. Dance, then, wherever you may be; I am the Lord of the Dance, said he. And Iíll lead you all wherever you may be, and Iíll lead you all in the dance, said he.

Oh, I hope you have the urge to dance. I hope you have heard the music and the laughter. Have you not felt something when brothers and sisters do come home? I shall always remember the dance in this very room. I shall always remember those who have stumbled down this aisle, their bodies shaking with tears, for they had experienced so great a salvation. The whole body wanted to get involved. I shall not soon forget those who have fairly run from their seats, eager to come home. The whole self wanted to dance and to sing. I shall always cherish the memory of men and women that many of us had given up on, but who eagerly presented themselves before God, coming home. I cannot speak for you, but I know that I have wanted to sing, I have wanted to dance, I have wanted to run up this aisle to meet them. I have wanted to rejoice, because my brother, my sister, has been found and is coming home.

It is too bad if we have to inquire what the fuss is all about; it is sad indeed if our only response is to worry that this is taking too long. Never mind the time! There is a party going on, with music and dancing! Never mind the delay; when your brother or your sister comes home, there are no other priorities. Dance and sing! And even if you didnít know you had lost anything, you had. You had. Nevertheless, what was lost has been found. So dance and sing!

Too bad that the elder brother was so removed