Am I just wierd, ’cause I expect people to do what they say they’ll do? Especially when it’s, you know, a vow before God like in marriage vows or, hey, ordination vows?
Guess I’m old-fashioned that way.
I went to church on Sunday. Showed up 15 minutes late. Everything I expected to happen, happened. People asked me where I’d been for the last month and a half. I was teased ’cause I’d missed choir rehersal again. I got dragged over to be moral support to ask someone if they’d serve on the Vestry. People asked how I was doing after the death of my friend in December. There was cake.
It wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t fun, though.
I could give up right now and spend every Sunday morning sitting on the couch throwing a pity party. I could start my own religion. The Church of Me. Sacraments involve good coffee and chocolate. Because that’s fun.
I wouldn’t have to worry about other people, neither. Because the most important thing in the Church of Me is that I am having fun and getting right with God. All that “love thy neighbor” crap? Not important until I’m sure I am right with God. So I can just ignore everyone else and spend my money on the right books and icons and videos to make me a Better Christian in the eternal tradition of the Church of Me. I might let other people come visit the Church of Me, but they have to agree with everything I say. Otherwise it’s not fun. And if they don’t agree with me, I will excommunicate them! No chocolate and coffee for them! They’re no fun! But it doesn’t matter that they aren’t part of the Church of Me (even though there’s no salvation outside of the Church of Me) because I know that I am right with God. The Church of Me says so.
Shuck that fit.
My priest? Not perfect. My parish? Not perfect. Me? Worlds of not perfect. The people I worship with? Not perfect.
You? Reading this right now? Not perfect. Sorry to bust your bubble.
We get told every single day by marketing companies that their product will make us perfect. Sometimes, those marketing companies are pushing theology that will make you perfect, if you do just what they say.
I can fall into the consumerisim and go wandering around trying to find the Perfect Church™, skipping from one community to another so fast that I won’t need to get to know people. I won’t have to get close enough to see that they’re not perfect, because as soon as something didn’t sit right, well, I could just go to the next one down the block.
I would live in my little delusional bubble, looking for the Church of Me.
Yeah. I think I’ll keep working with my little parish. The honeymoon is over, and we’re starting to notice each other’s imperfections. I promised to support them with my time, talent, and treasures, and I try to keep my promises.
Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed:
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song!