Do you ever wonder about religious people? About faith. About church. About God. Are those who believe in such things delusional, needy, narrow minded and maybe even intellectually lazy? Perhaps a peek around the door of a real church might help with your wondering. Here’s my take from the inside.
I love it when the questions and opinions fly at our mid-week Lenten study. Why does blood satisfy our debt of sin? Why hadn’t anyone told us before now that there was no Garden of Gethsemane? Say what, now? Turns out a Gethsemane is an olive press. Huh, who knew? And was John the Baptist an Essene or not? C’mon, we want to know. We want to work on these delusions and get them gone. We wrestle it out together.
I love the moment during communion when our pastor and his assistant leave the altar, come into the aisle, stop at a certain pew and offer the wafer and cup to our oldest member. She’s 95 and needy. Doesn’t walk that well so Jesus comes to her. Sharp as a tack, smiling and there every Sunday she’s able. Her need is met.
And then there’s the dog. A service dog to be sure, but still, a dog in church? Yes, his owner is well capable of keeping him in line. Yes, it’s a shocker the first time you hear the jingle of his collar when he shakes during the Lord’s Prayer. A dog in church? And when he let loose last Easter and joined the choir in a rousing rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus perhaps some narrow minded eyebrows shot up. Not mine, nor any of the choir members. We’re an extraordinary group and very open to new voices. Canines and others welcome.
Doctors, lawyers, school teachers, authors, nurses, engineers, military, hospice workers, social workers, and musicians. A short list of some of the professions evident in the weekly attendees. They weren’t lazy in pursuing their life’s calling and questions about their intellect don’t come up while we worship. They don’t mind sitting with the downtrodden, the less educated, the doubter. Do we walk in lock step in our ideas, opinions and concerns? Pffft. Sure don’t. But we put those things aside because we’re all in the mess together and holding on to the One who gives life, love and forgiveness. It’s very cool.
This is how it looks from the inside where we peer out into the world where you are and hope you’ll want to be on the inside with us. Go ahead, bring your delusions, your needs, your sorrows, joys and your intellect. His love and ours will meet you there.
Easter Sunday would be a good day to begin.
Image: atibodyphoto Free Digital Photos