I got sick, this morning, thinking about going to church. I suddenly felt dizzy and tired. Incredibly tired. I sat down on the couch (with a plate of brownies for sustenance).
What’s going on? Church has been my life. I volunteer for hours every week, attend services at several different denominations, read just about anything I can find, regarding what it means to live a God-centered life, what it means to know God. But I had to face the fact that I don’t like church. It feels like a waste of my time. I resent having to go.
Is there anything wrong with church? Anything I can put my finger on? I believe in an active, living, present God, and we spend a lot of time talking about God. Maybe that’s the problem. We talk God to death every Sunday. But when is there time to experience his presence with us in corporate worship?
What about all the good that churches do? We sent money, supplies and volunteers to help with Hurricane Katrina. We provide food baskets and Christmas gifts for impoverished children in town. We hold an annual appreciation dinner for local public school teachers. We offer free counseling to couples in crisis. But do we know our neighbors? Do we love them? Is our giving truly generous or a burden that we carry (because that’s what good people care about)?
I asked my students, last week, where church originated? Where do we get the idea of church? Nobody seemed to know for sure. It’s just always been, some claimed, while others thought that God had founded the institution.
But that can’t be true. Jesus didn’t go to church.
He invited people to enter a new way of life. It seems, however, that we’ve watered down his message, replaced the Kingdom of God with a social institution.
What’s that mean for me? What’s next? What can I do? Should I do anything?
I don’t know.
Looks like I’m going to need another batch of brownies.
We offer free counseling to couples in crisis. But do we know our neighbors? Do we love them?