the lower room

about the name…the lower room
February 4, 2006, 12:13 pm
Filed under: general

Some have asked about the idea behind the name “the lower room”. Apart from the obvious fact that our meeting place is a basement, I think that there is deeper symbolism we can all get behind.

First, we have the contrast with “the Upper Room”, a location where Jesus and his disciples met in Jerusalem, and where the disicples essentially hid after his crucifixion. I think that it is significant that after Jesus left the scene and sent the Holy Spirit, the upper room fades from the story. To me, it’s as if the upper room had served its purpose, and now the disciples were dispersed to the ends of the known world to spread the good news of Jesus. Compare that to where the church is today. In many ways, the church has retreated back into an upper room of its own. Not confident enough in their faith to do anything but avoid the world. Waiting and hoping that Jesus will come to them once again and show them his nail holes before they venture out. Content to send out a little money here and there and to sponsor the occasional brave soul who will go.
Second, the metaphor of Heaven comes to mind. I don’t know what your concept of Heaven is, and I don’t intend to give you one, but I like the idea that the earth is truly “the lower room” when compared to Heaven. Its an area full of people searching, wishing, sitting, waiting for something better. It’s the room I think we are called to live in.

What are your thoughts?

T minus 28 days…



dealing with postmodern despair
January 20, 2006, 10:51 am
Filed under: general

The last post I made included the lyrics to Radiohead’s “Let Down” (amazon link). The first time I heard this song, I cried – both at the despair in the lyric, and at the glimmer of hope offered by the line, “one day, I am gonna grow wings…” Contrary to contemporary church thinking, living in a postmodern, post-Christian world is not all it’s cracked up to be. The neat, clean, be-a-good-boy-or-girl-and-you’ll-go-to-heaven-when-you-die worldview is gone. It’s been replaced with the despair of a thousand questions. Questions like, “If Christ preached and taught love, why do Christians hate non-Christians?” “If Paul taught grace, why are Christians so unforgiving?” “If God doesn’t delight in punishing the wicked, why do the ‘people of God’ support the death penatly?” “If Jesus demonstrated mercy, why are Christians often the first to condemn?”

These are the sorts of questions people are asking. I hear them all the time. I hear them in the subtext of mass-media. I hear them in the curricula of my children’s school. I hear them when I am shooting the breeze with my drunk neighbor. Some Christians would like me to believe that there are absolute answers to these questions – and that these answers are knowable by men. I have my doubts. These Christians say that all the answers lie between the leather of their Bible. That nothing worthwhile can be added. That Christ cannot be known outside The Text.

I challenge this assertion. I believe Jesus can be known both through scripture, and entirely without scripture. Everyday I become more and more keenly aware that the Kingdom of God will continue to decline in the hearts of men until Christians choose to step into the world and introduce their neighbors to Jesus. I believe that the first step in this revolution is for Christians to become like Christ. (love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength) The second step is for these newly formed Christ-followers to step into the lives of their neighbors. (love your neighbor as yourself) I believe that if Jesus is demonstrated – reflected through the mirror of our lives – He will draw men to himself. We won’t have to resort to legal arguments or scare tactics which only appeal to the mind and body. The spirit of Jesus – the Holy Spirit – will draw the spirits of men into communion with Him.

At the end of the day, it is a man’s spirit that longs for hope. It is his spirit that will grow wings.

I’d love to talk about this with you face to face. Please consider joining us in the lower room on March 5 at 5:00 p.m. It’s time we get started on our two-step program together.

eli renner

can you relate?
January 14, 2006, 2:48 pm
Filed under: songs/lyrics

This song speaks to me. Tell me what you think…(bonus if you can tell me the name/artist of the song). After a few comments, we’ll discuss. – eli

Transport, motorways and tramlines,
starting and then stopping,
taking off and landing,
the emptiest of feelings,
disappointed people, clinging on to bottles,
and when it comes it’s so, so, disappointing.

Let down and hanging around,
crushed like a bug in the ground.
Let down and hanging around.

Shell smashed, juices flowing
wings twitch, legs are going,
don’t get sentimental,
it always ends up drivel.
One day, I am gonna grow wings,
a chemical reaction,
hysterical and useless
hysterical and

let down and hanging around,
crushed like a bug in the ground.
Let down and hanging around.

Let down,
Let down,
Let down.

You know, you know where you are with,
you know where you are with,
floor collapsing, falling, bouncing back
and one day, I am gonna grow wings,
a chemical reaction, [You know where you are,]
hysterical and useless [you know where you are,]
hysterical and [you know where you are,]

let down and hanging around,
crushed like a bug in the ground.
Let down and hanging around.