I am not without thought, stronger than musing and much stronger than being quiet, muted and shedding a smile, which is better than shedding a tear. Although when the smile becomes a smirk, watch out. That’s self-judgment to be alert.
What is this? It’s about how we spend our Sunday morning. Now that I am not serving a church as their pastor, the focus shifts. I admit that. Of course, the focus is now upon the needs of both Diane and Jason. Yesterday, a Sunday, I went to worship, my pastor touched my shoulder, “Jason’s in my prayers.” That was all I needed, although again in the sermon I learned something. Love that when I learn, as if I ever doubted, that I have more to learn.
While I worshipped another “holy moment” happened. Jason’s sons, our grandsons, visited him. They hadn’t seen their father for over two months. At the age of 10 [twins Jackson and Aiden] and 6 [Noah] it was a worshipful moment, which means not choirs and organ music, but the precious smile of God that blessed them. Which reminded me, folks, prayers for Diane and Jason, but also for the three kiddoes.
Into all that as I walked my three four-legged kiddoes, I noticed how quiet the streets were, still morning. Still brisk in temperature, but a vacancy of folks that wasn’t alarming. I didn’t slam my judgement with why they weren’t in church. Not for a breath.
I know in my worship space there are less people, the choir seems to have become smaller, and someone remarked, “Church doesn’t bring people in any more.”
I used to fuss about that, I really did. I used to take that personally, they weren’t coming because my sermons weren’t relevant or helpful, except in a few cases, a cure for insomnia. That was wrong as I look at it now. Churches having fewer members isn’t the real concern. Tom Ehrich dealt with it, much better than I, so I share. For ALL of us, whether or not Sunday morning worship is as special as…you fill in the blanks.
To be direct, maybe even blunt, Sunday morning worship has a centering for many of us. I felt much better in my soul for worshipping yesterday. That’s not self-congratulations, that’s gratitude to God that in worship my soul is fed. It’s a spiritual thing. But, honestly, and no less, my soul is fed when I make sure my faith has arms and legs and a reaching-out to others countenance.
I’ll let Ehrich take it from here. Tom, you feed my soul, so this Monday will not be without purpose and value. Thank you:
“I think Jesus would say, Faith is never about Sunday-activity choices. Faith is about trusting in God, loving God, serving God, and serving humanity. Keeping a religious institution alive means little. Are the hungry being fed, the lonely wrapped in community, the outcast brought into the circle, the powerful and corrupt hearing God’s truth, the broken hearing hope?
Those are the measures. Not the ways religious spaces get used, but the ways God’s people serve and
transform a sinful and broken world.”