08 January, 2006

Church Of The Holy Comforter

It's Sunday morning. I'm fifteen minutes from walking out the door to go to church. There are many days when I wonder why I do this. God Himself declared the Sabbath a day of rest, so it seems counterintuitive to leave the bed early and spend the majority of this day "on"--interacting with other people, thinking deep thoughts and doing the ecclesiastical gymnastics of standing for hymns and prayer.

What's the point, when God is everywhere? When as a Saved person I have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit with whom I dialogue frequently. (Perhaps this is part of why I'm not so dunded about The Book of Daniel--the apparantly crazy notion of constant conversation with a Living God is all too familiar to me.) Can't God be worshipped by quiet moments on a hillside or fishing in a river?

For years that was my mantra. Who needs church and the politics of imperfect people constantly trying to convince others they are more perfect than the rest of them? What is the point? Especially when Church presents that constant due-bill of tithe. There is nothing more grating than struggling to pay all your bills and watching a church turn tithe money into necessities like roller rinks and pastors' Cadillacs.

I can't fully explain the alchemy that has turned church-going into something I like to do. But I think it would have to start with the pleasure of oasis. In the middle of a life of conflict, church presents a single time where all of us from varied backgrounds turn our eyes from our own hands and toward the common Lord. Democrats, Republicans, Black, White, Rich, Poor. We're all there, and we're all there for Him.

Church has also turned into the place where I can meet people with whom I have a lot in common. I've transplanted here from the Midwest, and find small common ground with a lot of people I encounter during the week. Church is a place where I can meet people who share my primary interest--Jesus Christ and the Bible--and also many of my secondary interests. Of course, they still won't let me sing in the spring dinner theatre production. No one is that forgiving.

So, I'm turning off the computer, putting down my book and carrying my pineapple casserole (it has cheese--sorry, Lydia) to spend the morning with God and some of His people.

4 Comments:

At 10:47 AM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Cheryl said...

Oh, I love Pineapple Cheese casserole. Would you be willing to share the recipe???

 
At 11:31 AM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

I think you've hit the nail on the head for one of the big reasons I do the corporate worship thing--the fellowship. It's nice to have that time of fellowship and to create friendships with people who share the common love of God and Christ with you. Now, we don't always agree, mind you. But at least we agree on the basic thing. It's all those details that ensure there will never be any end to the demoninational debate. But I digress...

I find it's great to have a fellowship group...I have found a lot of close friends at churches over the years. In fact, I had a group of guys in Knoxville who are among the closets friends I've ever had and who literally saved my sanity on more than one occasion....

 
At 12:04 PM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous Hubby said...

Two cans of pineapple cubes, one of them drained. One cup sugar. Three tablespoons flour. Cheese to taste. (Start with two cups and let loose from there.)

Mix the above thoroughly and place into a casserole dish. Top with one package of finely crushed crackers. (Club or Ritz, preferably.) Drizzle topping with melted butter. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until topping begins to brown. Allow to cool. Scarf down shmelessly. Rinse. Repeat.

 
At 2:55 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

You shouldn't promote the recipe too loud...there were several young women who used to be impressed I could cook this dish, among others.

Oh goodness....Missy flashbacks..time to sit down until those memories go away...

 

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