Its Sunday & I'm not in church. I'm enjoying a quiet morning home with a cup of coffee. The sun is shining in a clear blue sky & a cool breeze breathes life into my curtains... The birds are singing... The neighbors are beginning to stir... It's just me, my Bible & my God. In some Christian communities, this would be grounds for scorn. In my defense, I'm actually sick today.
Still, its no secret that I don't much like "church" in the traditional sense. Whatever our chosen denomination, most of us sit in a building every Sunday, sing a few songs, listen to a sermon & maybe even offer brief synopses of our week to one or two people. I can't help but think this isn't exactly what Christ had in mind... Not that these things are bad, but to me, they seem lifeless... almost a waste of time. I said "almost". Back to that in a minute.
Its my opinion that the "act" of church has lost its meaning... Church has somehow become a noun rather than a verb... It doesn't seem to define anything but a building, a Sunday ritual, a spiritual body of morbidly obese, structure bound souls (think "What's Eating Gilbert Grape"). We get stuck in our own Christian world, feasting on all things spiritual... constantly craving more. Some of us don't exercise our faith... so we grow weary... we get fat. We make resolutions for tomorrow & drop off to sleep, only to repeat the cycle.
The pastor of my congregation routinely tells us to "Go be the church" & I've had the fortune of actually seeing that concept at work. In this respect, "church" comes to life & challenges me to better things... In this respect, church is not a waste of time. And so I have to ask myself this morning what I think I already know: am I "being" the church or am I content to hide away in my own Christian "world", feasting on spiritual things... constantly craving more, but neglecting to actually exercise my faith? Have I grown weary? Have I grown fat & imprisoned myself by shirking my responsibilities? Because I'm responsible to exercise my faith... & when I do, not only will I stay healthy, but perhaps someone else will find within the "church" new life & incentive to exercise their faith as well... Instead of perpetuating a cycle of reclusion, it just might bust the doors off their hinges...