Of Concerts, Culture, and Church

I remember reading that the Minneapolis metro area has the highest per capita average of museums/theaters/cultural venues of any city in the US. Not bad for a little Midwestern city. And they do a good job at keeping many of them accessible. The Minneapolis Institute of Art is free and it has a great selection of works from a wide range of artists (including classic painters like Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Gaugin). The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is free (both the zoo and the art museum welcome donations, of course), and while on the smaller side, has a good variety of animals as well as a relaxing place to sit and look at flowers. The library system offers free passes to a number of other museums. In the summer you can catch Shakespeare in the park or a variety of free outdoor concerts.

Last night my wife took me on a date (a much needed one) to see the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra a few blocks away in the Capri Theater. The SPCO wanted to make themselves accessible to the people of north Minneapolis, so they put on a free concert. It was a nice, intimate gathering (we were three rows back). And the people in attendance truly appreciated the concert.

I appreciate those who have worked to make culture--museums, concerts, etc.--accessible to all (I wish more would take advantage of those opportunities).

Many have tried to do similar things with church--thinking that if church was more "entertaining," it would appeal more to those who don't come, trying to make God more accessible. God is accessible, of course. And He is even more accessible through us.

There's a puppet theater in Minneapolis that wants people to have them come to their yard (or garage/basement in the case of rain) and invite neighbors to come see a show. They know that a lot of kids in our community will never get taken to a theater. So they take the theater to the kids.

God has the same plan with the church. He doesn't expect non-followers to come to church. Church is about God and the faith community; a non-follower would be out of place in that setting. So He has us make Him accessible. We are the ones who are to take God into our neighborhood, school, or workplace.

God is accessible to all. We are the ones to make that happen. (Thankfully, He is gracious when we fail)

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