Saturday, April 15, 2006

Born from the ponderings of others

I visited churchgal's blog the other day because I'd not gone in a while. I enjoyed reading the exchange between her and her minister father. What caught my eye, however was a post left by John Patrick. It has easily been 10 or more years since I've gone to a Maundy Thursday service or even a Good Friday service. I don't remember how they play out and since I'm a protestant, I'm sure they're not as rigidly ritualized as Catholic services. However, what I loved about JP's post is that he was able to really imagine how he would be processing the last days of Christ if he were there. I know I've never really meditated on that and I doubt few of us have ever really deeply meditated on that or any other event or period we claim we hold dear: the sacrifices of soldiers at war, the difficulties of building a new democracy, the sweat and elbowgrease of workers, etc. It was nice to see how JP imagined himself in that situation.

Often, though, I do imagine what I would think of a messianic character in today's world. As a little girl in the Southern Baptist church I remember Sunday School teachers asking, "If Jesus came today, would you follow him? If he came and told you he was the son of God would trust him and follow him?" Until I was about 10 or 11, the answer was "yes, of course." But as I got older and more wary and jaded the answer became "I don't know." At this point in my life, I'd have to say "no." The truth of the matter is: I want God in my life, I'm totally sure that God can use anyone or any method he darned well pleases to deliver what ever messages he wants, whether it's "dude, look out for that dog in the road" to "This is my commandment that you love one another." So it's not his message I would ignore. But the truth is also, there are a lot of egomaniacs out there and I'm much more likely to dismiss them than follow them. I don't know how outwardly egotistic Christ was during his ministry. But if he was as vocal about his divine status as some sections of the gospels suggest, I'd probably blow him off if he was around today. Of course, I have a deep feeling that God loves us regardless of our predispositions and is happy when we even make an effort to be in communication or relation with him. So, that's one voice from my SoBap past that doesn't haunt me anymore.

There is a distinct possibility that we may not be in church tomorrow morning. I'm hoping we do go. If we sleep in, it'll be the first Easter in my life - to the best of my recollection - that I have not gone to church. Honey has to work really late tonight and his sister, at whose church we probably would have gone, will be getting in really late from a family vacation and doesn't plan to go to church tomorrow at all.

The idea of not spending Easter morning in worship is very sad and hollow to me. It's always been my most favorite Sunday. Church on Easter Sunday brims with the resurrection and rebirth of the human heart. Even in the most boring of churches it's always felt festive!

I was hoping to do a seder with some Jewish friends of mine this week. But we just kind of casually mentioned the possibility and then I didn't hear from them. I guess it was just as well. I was nasty sick to my stomach Wednesday night. If I were Elijah I would've totally stayed away from whatever table Molly was at.

There's a Lutheran church about a block from us that advertised a service at an early, but doable, hour. I'm hoping we make it. Plus, it'll get us out early enough that we can hit a restaurant before the regular 11 o'clock services let out. I really need to be in a state of worship right now. I don't have to go to church every Sunday - or even a church; I've been meaning to go to synagogue with a friend of mine some Friday evening - but going only once to three times a year just ... feels like I'm missing something. It's like a hug and I've got no one to hug and no one is hugging me. I need some refills.

1 comment:

Virginia Gal said...

So what happened? Did you make it to a church on Sunday?

It's funny I agree with you that I'm not sure today I'd following someone who said they were a Prophet of God - I'd be more than cynical. Maybe that's why God isn't sending anymore Prophet's?

Your description of Easter Sunday services made me want to go, and I'm not even Christian!