Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

I skipped out on Church last Sunday. Okay, you can judge me, I'm a heathen.... Granted I was in the middle of a fifteen hour coma brought on by three weeks of sleeping less than four hours a night and running my body ragged, so maybe that judgment can be withheld a little. I don't like attending church at home. It just isn't the same as the Well, unfortunately it couldn't be avoided tonight. It is Christmas Eve after all, and my mom had to go to see Nathan Chan play his violin. His in first grade and his feet don't even touch the ground. So I pulled my cynical self together and made it to church on time. After laughing through the thirty minute pre-service music with the siblings I finally turned my attention to the service. It was as expected...

They played the usual christmas music which normally I love, however they played it with a false contemporary attitude. One that says, "i'm hip" while still wearing the cardigan and polyester suit. The pastor stood up and the five minutes I payed attention to were of Ana and waiting to see baby Jesus. Nothing was mentioned about the hope brought by the birth of this baby or love or sacrifice, just living 84 years to see a baby. Granted this is a pretty big feat when the average life expectancy was only 30 or something like that...but still no HOPE?

I wasn't listening. It's not that i'm cynical and find it hard to listen to a pastor that is hypocritical and a control freak (I do and he is....but that wasn't the problem tonight) Tonight I struggled with the lack of noise. The last service at Jacob's well that we went to, we were given bells to help us rejoice. I was wishing with every bone in my body (206 to be exact) to hear the sound of those joyous bells while i was at this service. Despite my desire there was nothing. Only the sound of the preacher's voice, children being shushhed, and a semi-drunk homeless man reciting the Gettysburg address.

My heart broke to hear the parents quieting their children and to see the "deacons" of the church escort the homeless man out. As a church we are called to love, can we not let the children praise the Lord in their own way? Or love on the homeless man who has nowhere else to go? When did it become acceptable to turn your back on these people? How ironic is it that the very people Christ came to save are being escorting out of the church?

The second problem I had was the invitation to communion. The pastor said that the table is for those who have been purchased and who Christ paid the price for. That is the truth, I very much agree with him however he made it sound as if it was exclusive and elitist. No invitation for those who haven't been purchased. No talk of hope for what Christ can do.

It was a cold, lonely christmas eve service despite the fact that the heat was working in the sanctuary and there were at least 25 families there...

on a brighter note...
The entire family is here and I have finally realized how crazy and disfunctional we are. But man is it good to be able to laugh at lame comebacks and ridiculous stories.

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