• Stefan Youngblood

Bring Down Da’ Noise

If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but have not love, I am a noisy gong, or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Cor. 13

“Raleigh…MAKE SOME NOISE!!!!!!!” I wanna get up to the microphone one Sunday morning, my guitar around my neck, fist high in the air and shout that out like all those artists do as they begin their concerts before thousands of fans. Then again, maybe not. (I don’t even play guitar)

I sat in the back of a crowded church recently and began recording the music (as I worshipped). Yep. The song was so powerful that I whipped out my iPhone. I pressed the record button and captured the words to worship again later, “Lord You sought me when a stranger wandering from the throne of God…” However, I noticed the needle measuring the recording level was nearly pinned down on the right side signifying REALLY loud music…and a bad recording.

This phone app actually has a decibel meter built in and displays humorous comparisons at the top of the screen with every fluctuation in volume. The reading bounces between: Average quiet street. Average loud singing. Average food-blender. Average subway train. Average 747 jet. You get the idea. (The worship, on the other hand, was anything but average. It helped to usher me into the presence of God.)

Statistics show that through the world’s eyes the church often has the noise part down pretty well. It’s the love part that they’re longing to experience. Maybe there should be an App that measures, not the volume of “loveless noise” but the depth of “noiseless love.”

This month last year, when on the other side of the world in Calcutta India,  I heard noise on an entirely different level. Noise…everywhere…all the time. At the top of the decibel chart for cities around the world, the car horns averaged one beep every four seconds at enough intersections to create a continuous cacophony of blaring, deafening, restless noise.

Yet everyday on a bustling street during the early morning service at Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity, the Christlike love in the hearts of the nearly 300 sisters and dozens of volunteers drown out the constant noise of blaring car horns. Interestingly, the noise of Calcutta quiets as you drive out the city but the love of Jesus through Mother Theresa and those missionaries speaks so loudly that it’s been heard around the world through pastors, sermons, books, media, and countless lives inspired to live a more selfless indiscriminate love.

Imagine that…when the power of Christ-like love is demonstrated by walking alongside the person struggling through addictions, rejection, sexual sin, shame, divorce, habitual mistakes and brokenness, they say, “Hey, the noise is gone. Now I can hear you.” May the mercy we find at the cross transform us all to be vessels of the grace, truth, mercy, and love..in Jesus.

Noise? Cover your ears. Love…covers a multitude of sins. (1 Pet. 4:8)

Stuff to Remember:

~ This week and next week will be “The Power and Prayer,” mini-series at The Gathering. Think of it as a one-two punch! Each of us needs more of both in our lives. Be sure to invite a guest.

~ There are a number of opportunities to serve this summer through Estreet. Please take a minute and check out the new “Communicator 2.0” for more ways to be involved. You can also sign up here.

~ Lastly, this will be my last blog through email. From this point on they’ll come to you through a more efficient, safer and streamline process. Look for the new layout next week.

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