Friday, September 15, 2017

Needing Church on a Bad Day

Between the hurricanes, the earthquake, the fires out west, the announcement of the end of DACA, and all of the programming we were starting at church, I felt like I had so many balls in the air on Sunday morning, that I really needed church. I needed the music, the prayer, and the company. Church happens when we get together to sing, to pray, to laugh, to catch up with each other, and to lift ourselves up with the good news that God’s love is bigger than whatever burdens we’re carrying. That’s what I needed on Sunday, and I got it. So thank you church! 

Some folks think coming to church means showing your best to the world. We get dressed up, put on our smiling faces, try to keep our kids on their best behavior, and come to Sunday morning worship, because that’s what “good” people do. We greet each other with cheerfulness, and when someone asked how we were, we’d say, “Fine! How’re you?”   

But what if you’re really not fine? What if you can’t even fake it? Should you stay home those days? 

Nope. In fact, those are the days you need church the most. 

Church is not a museum for priceless masterpieces, sculpted for perfection, curated so that the experience as you pass through is sophisticated and perfect. On the contrary, church is gathering of real human beings, imperfect people, who don’t have everything figured out. They may be struggling with depression, angry with their family members, or feeling a little lost or hopeless. 

Church is a hospital for those who have been through some stuff. 

When someone at church asks you how you are, you should be able to tell the truth. If you’re feeling lousy, say, “you know what? I’m pretty awful, to be honest.” And if someone says that to you when you ask them how they are, say back to them, “Well thank God you’re here. Come sit with me, and let’s and do church together today.”

Don’t get me wrong—it’s great to have happy, well organized people in church! In fact, we should feel joy and gratitude for our blessings. More to the point, if you’re in a good place on any given Sunday, you can be that person who says, “Well thank God you’re here!” 

Someday in the future, when you’re having a bad Sunday, the person you sat with when they were a wreck, they will have your back. They will sit with you and do church with you when you really need a reminder that we’re in it together, and God’s got our back. 

Life is not a cake walk my friends. It’s more like musical chairs—a bit of a scramble, and sometimes there aren’t enough seats. But we’ve got a place for everyone, and when the music stops, God will meet us in church.

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