Pastor's Notes

From the Pastor’s Desk: Lip-Syncing Life

GraceNewsletter2016-06-1If you watch Jimmy Fallon, you’ve probably seen it. Lip Sync Battle. Yes, you read that correctly – Lip Sync Battle – and yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. It started as a small, playful segment on Jimmy Fallon. He would challenge celebrity guests to a lip sync battle. Each of them had to do two songs, and the audience would judge based on lip sync ability, performance,and entertainment value. It was all wildly entertaining, because sometimes people took the whole thing very, very seriously. It was one of these performances in particular that took the concept from late night segment to an entire show unto itself. Now, every week on Spike, two celebrities battle it out for the lip sync belt, all because, for some reason, it is extremely fun to watch people make fools of themselves by just “singing” their hearts out. But let’s get back to that performance that made the concept take of.

Emma Stone vs. Jimmy Fallon. Emma Stone, starof movies such as “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and “The Help,” who seems so quiet and sweet. The frst round was relatively calm, nothing too crazy. People were vaguely impressed, but it didn’t feel like a big deal. The second round though.litle, unassuming Emma Stone fawlessly lip-synced her way through an insanely intricate rap song that was so seemingly out of character that you couldn’t decide whether youshould laugh or just sit there jaw ajar, because sheknew every word. At the end, after she had very much won according to the audience, she made a commentabout the fact that even though it was supposed to be a lip sync batle she was “full singing,” just leting it all out there, having fun, and giving it her all, becausereally, who wants to just mouth the words?

GraceNewsletter2016-06-2Who wants to just mouth the words? Something that can be asked about a lot more things that lip syncing. Something that can really be asked about our faith. We know the words to our faith, don’t we? We can recite the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, the 10 Commandments. We can tell the stories of Noah’s Ark, the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son. We can tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We can sing hymns by heart. But the question remains, when we say those things, are we really saying them, or are we just lip syncing? Are we just pretending? Mouthing the words, but not giving our full heart, our full voice to them. Are we just giving lip service to the teachings of Jesus? Teachings that tell us we’re supposed to love our neighbor, that tell us to forgive those who have sinned against us just as we have been forgiven, that tell us that we are called to serve all people, that tell us that God loves each and every member of creation equally and unconditionally. Do we really believe those things? Do we really live those things? Or do we just say them? Do we let the music play behind us and just mouth along, putting on a good show, but knowing in our hearts that the whole thing is fake? Do we live our faith? Do we live out the things that Jesus has called us to? Or do we just play along? Do we just hope we’re keeping up with the words enough to make it seem like it’s actually us that is saying those words? Do we say we love our neighbor, and then go out and gossip and judge and condemn? Do we say that Jesus came to show everyone love and then go out and point to all the different people that God is clearly sending to hell because we don’t agree with them? Do we say that we have been forgiven, but then deep in our hearts cling to old grudges and dormant hurts because we don’t know how to let go? Do we say the Lord’s Prayer and words about God’s will and God’s kingdom, and then go out into the world and not care about what happens to creation or about what God really intends for this world? Do we believe the 10 Commandments and then cheapen our relationships with lies and hurtful actions? Do we claim to be disciples and then go out and ignore our calling? Do we say on a Sunday, “Here I am, Lord, send me,” and then Monday morning forget the faith that we just proclaimed? Do we see where God might be calling us and shake our heads and say,“You want me to go there? Nope, no way, didn’t really mean it all that much.”

This is our Pastor’s lead article from that month’s Beacon newsletter. Click here to read the entire newsletter as a pdf file. You can also browse our Newsletter Archive for older issues.

What kind of faith do we have? What is stirring inour hearts? Is it a faith that strives to live, to be alive and vibrant and active in the world? Or is it one that just goes through the motions? Are our words real or are we just mouthing along to someone else’s words? Are we going out each and every day seeking to bring God’s kingdom, to show God’s love, to share God’s peace, or are we just really, really hoping that we put up a good enough front, a decent enough show to take the lip sync belt?

Peace it Together,
Pastor Tina

P.S. If you want to watch Emma Stone’s performance, it’s on YouTube, just type in “Emma Stone Lip Sync Batle” and you can add your viewing to the 71 MILLION other views!!