Thursday, September 24, 2009

In Which I Question the Reliability of God

Last Sunday surprised me. On the way to the worship service, my son whined “I don’t wanna go to church!” I answered, without premeditation, “Really? I’m excited to go to church.” I don’t when I last had that feeling. Sitting in the pew, I felt glad to be there. I could see Mrs. Sr. Pastor several rows in front of me, and I was glad for her to be there, too.

During the first portion of the service, I kept thinking of how God seemed to have changed my heart. Somehow, He had prepared me to look at things differently even though not much has changed.

Then the sermon. Oh, my. It was not offensive in, it just seemed empty. It seemed like this to me:

Today, I am going to talk to you about red bricks, yellow bricks, and blue bricks. In the Bible, there are five red bricks. I will read you every passage that mentions them. There are four yellow bricks in the Bible. Here are the passages that mention them. Blue bricks are mentioned four times. Let’s read a blue brick passage together. All three bricks are important. God made them all.

It struck me as a series of textual observations with no meaningful interpretation.

Then, later in the service, the congregation was asked to fill out a survey. The survey is intended to measure something about how involved we are in volunteer service. Seriously? During worship? I hate that survey. I have absolutely nothing to write on it, and looking at it makes me feel worthless. Generally, I understand that I am in a time in my life when structured involvement with anything outside my own family is limited. God is with me here, my life is meaningful and purposeful. But none of my life fits on this form, so I look like nothing there.

WHY? Why would God change my heart and then leave me hanging like that? It looks like poor follow-through.

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Thanks for using this space to share your encouraging words.