Bruce Springsteen is a national treasure. Poet. Prophet. Rock star.
He was the first show to open on Broadway since COVID. If you’ve ever gotten a chance to see Springsteen over the years, you know exactly what I’m talking about. They put the first version of his Broadway show out on Netflix a few years ago, so check it out and watch it if you can. No really, watch this show!
If you love Springsteen already, you’ll love him even more. And even if you don’t love him, you will get to know him. He’s as real as it gets. Raw. What you see is what you get.
We know he’s a magnificent story-teller just from the music and the band, and all those years on the road. 1 plus 1 equals 3 for the E. Street Band. The whole is so much greater than the sum of its parts. He gives all the credit to the band.
But without the songs? Without the stories? Without these paintings, it’s just a good band with a great front man.
It’s all about the songs. The stories. How he paints the pictures. And he says “this is my magic trick.”
He’s never worked in a factory—he wrote all those songs about screaming down the highway and “Born to Run” and he couldn’t even drive a car! He’s quippy about never working 5 days a week “until now.” Until he did the Broadway show.
So, he makes up the stories, but he’s very clear about who he is. Rock star, yes. But a regular guy who gets lonely, has depression, father, husband, all that. This is the picture he paints in the Broadway show. It’s a live autobiography. And he’s raw, vulnerable, real. It’s all about how he paints the pictures.
I’ve been thinking and praying a lot lately about what we’re doing here. We’re doing our first discernment event this Sunday. We’re going to create a timeline of the people, events, and missions in our recent history that got us here. We’re going to hear you paint your pictures of our church. How we got here—where we are. Right here. Right now.
Knowing where we’ve been will tell us a lot about where we need to go. Who we need to lead us and the gifts and skills they will need. How do we start painting our next story board?
How are we painting the picture? What does that look like?
Well, it looks like us. You and me. Doing our best to walk the walk. Perfect in our imperfections. Love God. Love your neighbor.
All that. Just be.
This whole “Jesus thing” was lifestyle long before it was church. Long before it became a belief system. I asked the kids in confirmation class what Jesus would make of the church. Not just our church, but the whole thing. What it’s become. What would Jesus think of what the church has become? What’s the picture we’re painting?
Here’s where I’m going:
Reclaim the lifestyle.
Let’s be church—connect to the community and each other by loving God and loving each other, just like Jesus says. Listen to Jesus to the exclusion of everything else. Just be. Take care of each other.
It’s not a magic trick. It’s just being real. Perfect in our imperfection.
Maybe it’s not about the pictures we’re painting. What about how we’re painting?