I’ve been thinking…

about a medical research headline I read recently: “Power Causes Brain Damage”. Really?  Yes!  The clinical evidence from neurological researchers at Cambridge, McMaster, Princeton and beyond suggests that “Subjects under the influence of power… acted as if they had suffered a traumatic brain injury – becoming more impulsive, less risk-aware, and, critically, less adept at seeing things from other people’s point of view”.   YIKES! A British neurologist who went into government, wrote a book about this and described it as ‘an acquired disorder that the medical literature doesn’t recognize, but should.”  He called it Hubris syndrome: a disorder of the possession of power, particularly power which has been associated with overwhelming success, held for a period of years and with minimal constraint on the leader.”  Another researcher said power is ‘a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim’s sympathies.”  The end result is a hard heart, a blind eye, a cold shoulder to the needs of people and the world around us. Right away in this I see the value of worship. Attending a church service should give us a gentle, joyful ‘reality check’. In worship we acknowledge a ‘Higher Power’ and that only God is great’.  We are reminded that we are all, at times, mistake-prone and sinful;  we have much to learn;  and we are still and always, in need of guidance and growth in our personalities and lifestyle. Worship, at its best, should help us to be humble. That’s healthy.  All of which is a bit of a preamble to next Sundays sermon theme, the benefits of Worship. Over my 3 month summer sabbatical I pondered the question ‘Why do people go to church? Why should they?  What’s the value of getting involved in faith and spiritual practices?  It was a great refresher\reminder for me. And it caused me to say to myself:  I Love this God Stuff”.  So as we start the fall, on three Sundays, I’m suggesting WHY we can love this God stuff. Some of you already heard me make the case that ‘We learn & grow together’ (Sept 17th);  Today I’m suggesting ‘We serve & give’, and next Sunday, on Thanksgiving we can focus on the benefits of thanks & praise in worship. So well done you, for being here – on any given Sunday, good worship should help you avoid getting too big a head, or too hard a heart.

The Lord be with you…  ORV