Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Skip Days

"I'm skipping church with the Body of Christ- I'm doing my church on Tv today."

This is an actual quote. It seemed so striking to me that I had to write it down. The person speaking started off by saying she was a heathen for not attending church. She was joking, of course, but there are folks out there who actually believe things like that. I'm not one of them, but I did think her statement was interesting. I'm not out to split hairs here... but I wanted to play with this some, entertain the idea... We can slip into this mindset easily without even realizing it...

She "skipped" church, like one might "skip" school. Church that day was a function, just another thing to add to the already overwhelming list of things to be done. Church was a thing to "do"... a place to go, instead of a living being (spiritually speaking) that just "is". The church IS the Body of Christ, so to say that one can do church "WITH the Body of Christ" seems to imply disconnection, disembodiment FROM the body of Christ... She spoke as if she were independent of it at will- perhaps in honor of halloween, like a living disembodied arm or some such thing (This particular Sunday fell on halloween)...

She said "I'm doing my church on Tv today", which equated to watching Tv preachers while she prepared lunch for the family. What exactly is church then? Is it only for the weekend? It is listening to sermons? Reading scripture on a screen & listening to people pray? Is it watching the camera pan through the hordes of beautiful people sitting in their mega churches? Is church merely something one "does" by observation or listening as an individual? Is church a building, a function? Or is it more than that? And are we really contributing more to the Body of Christ on a Saturday or Sunday, as opposed to the rest of the week? "Church" is lived, not attended. It can be- should be- experienced through everyday life... All week long, at any time of night or day, anywhere with anyone.

Would she still have been able to justify her "skip day" if she hadn't turned on the Christian tv program? Maybe not, especially if she defined church as just another slot in her schedule. On my skip days, I tend to sleep in, go for walks or just "be". I don't have to listen to Christian music, watch some preacher on TV or even crack open my Bible that day. I might pray, I might write. For me, this is rejuvenating. I tend to burn out easily. Some parts of the body are like that- eyes get tired, senses get overwhelmed, feet hurt, muscles ache, but with a little T.L.C., those parts can function & support the rest of the body just as the rest of the body supports those parts... Skip days aren't neccesarily something bad. Jesus Himself went off for hours or days to be alone. But its always helpful to examine why we skip, and how we remain connected when we skip... Jesus always came back... do we?

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