In Church today…

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I went to church today. Many of you may think well yeah but you’re a pastor your supposed to. But I haven’t been going. I haven’t wanted to set foot inside the building that symbolizes the organization that has hurt me so deeply. The organization that has been unfair, unyielding, uncaring to me and to my family, that has made me to feel that I don’t care if I ever go again. 

Then some dude decided to shoot up an elementary school.

I sat at home on Friday reading news reports and articles. I wept with our president as he shared with the nation the hurt that had been done. I was at a lose for what to say or do. The article in the Onion “Fuck Everything, Nation Reports, Just Fuck It All To Hell” seemed to encapsulate my feelings the best. In fact when my wife came home I said “can’t we just run away, can’t we just go live in some tiny little house get simple jobs and just live with our kids.”

She said, no.

On Saturday I spent a lot of time reading of all things sermons. (I actually have to admit I have been reading sermons most Sunday mornings since I stopped going) Many of these sermons have been curated into a collection by Landon Whitsitt on his blog.

They all made me think about pain, and anger, and frustration. But also Joy, and Hope, and faith.

I began to think that we can’t let some lunatic stop us from spreading Joy and Hope and Love.

We can’t stop finding ways to transform the world, from “being the change we wish to see in the world”.

I began to realize that some dumb ass denomination can’t stop me from sharing Hope, It can’t stop me from spreading Joy. It can’t stop me from shouting good news of transformation to the world that comes through of all things a bastard child born on the run.

So I went to church today. I sat in the back row all by myself. I sung the Advent Hymns. I took communion. I heard a pretty good sermon. I got hugs from some people I knew. I experienced a little bit of that transformation that I know comes from having faith in the creator of all that we know. 

And I said Amen.

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3 thoughts on “In Church today…”

  1. Moved to Alaska in the mid-eighties, still suffering the emotional hang-over of leaving the church of my teens and early adulthood—a highly legalistic Holiness denomination. Once there, joined a charismatic church to be with friends—more hurt and disappointment as they went through a pastoral change. That started the year-long drift. Woke up one Sunday morning with a real hangover and realized that it had been a year since I had set foot in a church—the longest such time since I was 10 years old. It was like looking down at the dash board and seeing that little orange “low fuel” light glowing and not remembering when it first came on. I’d like to say, “Wow, that’s all I needed—all better now”. But there was much healing to attend to; 22 years later, and from the perspective of a true “elder” (as in elderly) I shudder to think what would have happened if I had ignored that little orange light. The road has been far from smooth, but there has been the hope and joy and transformation that comes from being where the Holy is lifted up, even though imperfectly.

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