About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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On The Cutting Edge  Of What


I’ll lighten things up a bit for this article. There are no difficult Greek words to twist your tongue around or deep theological issues to ponder over, but as usual I do have something for you to consider.   


I’ve recently felt vindicated from an unusual source for an apparent mistake I made 14 years ago.  On his “Live in Dublin ” CD Bruce  Springsteen does a great job singing “This Little Light Of Mine”.  You probably remember that little  kid’s song from your Sunday school days.   


So here’s the story.  I played lead guitar for a certain church’s worship team.  I prefer playing guitar or harmonica in the background instead of  being up front leading the singing.  On one occasion the congregation was stuck with me leading worship because all the good worship leaders were away.  It became evident that our pastor would have preferred me playing in the background that day as well where I’d have little choice in what happened during worship.    


I decided to tune up my banjo and play it for the opening song. I picked “This Little Light Of Mine” to start things off.  It sounded nothing like Springsteen's version.  That was my mistake.  I figured the children might enjoy this, and maybe I could put a smile on a few older faces before we got into serious worship.   


Our pastor didn’t have a smile on his face.  He considered our church to be on the “cutting edge” in certain respects, and especially when it came to worship.  My banjo and “This Little Light Of Mine”  weren’t “cutting edge”.  After the meeting I was asked “why I led off with my banjo and that camp-fire song”.  I didn’t realize that “This Little Light Of  Mine” was actually a camp-fire song and that banjos were meant to be played out of doors by a fire.  Bruce Stringsteen didn’t seem to understand this either, but of course why would he understand cutting edge church stuff.  I just wanted to bring an element of refreshing fun into our gathering.  Besides, I’ve always considered the banjo to be a happy guitar in disguise.  Don’t you think a banjo sounds happy?


Then there was my friend.  He was invited to speak one Sunday morning.  He asked if he could speak first and have worship after he spoke.  His request was denied.  


After such events I’ve stopped using the words “cutting edge”.  It tends to be a put down anyway. If I say I’m cutting edge, I’m probably implying that you ‘re not.  By most people’s definition, our church wasn’t cutting edge anyway.  We were very traditional.  So I’d suggest we throw these words out of our Christian vocabulary.  We should simply promote Jesus instead of our cutting edge church. You’d be surprised how many of us witness more about our church than we do about Jesus. 


 I don’t recall Jesus suggesting that He or His followers were on the cutting edge, even though some of His followers did experience the cutting edge, but it was the cutting edge of a Roman sword against their necks.  I doubt if we’d be interested in that kind of cutting edge.


When it comes to our meetings, maybe we should think about having a little more fun as well as seriously bowing our hearts in worship before our Lord Jesus, neither of which some churches experience. 


Maybe I’m figuring wrong, but I figure that if Bruce Springsteen can record “This Little Light Of Mine”, surely I can lead off a Christian meeting with this little song, don’t you think?  So that’s why I feel vindicated after all those years and no longer worry about being on the cutting edge.   

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