Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter, and a kind of explanation

It's Easter, and I am rather contentedly staying home this morning, for the first Easter in eighteen years. I know this may seem disconcerting to some of my old church acquaintances. After all, this is the biggest day of the year in Christian churches across the world, and the church is, I might add, the bride of Christ. Today she celebrates the salvation that He won for us. Hallelujah!

I believe in all that. I do. Not only the "old, old story" of Jesus, Son of Man and Son of God, the rugged cross, the empty tomb. But also I believe in the church. Love the church. And desire once again to be a part of one.

But not today.

Bottom line, I am tired. And maybe I'm a little jaded. In the last few months I've been going to an Acts 29 church. I admire the pastor, the congregation, and have no quibbles about what's going on there. I'll be going back there in the future. But for whatever reason I haven't gotten plugged in there yet. It's a 20 and 30 something congregation, and I'm a 50-something guy. Maybe that's the reason.


Much of my church experience in recent years has been all about manufactured enthusiasm. It makes me very unenthusiastic. Much lip-service was paid to the idea of "relationships," but on the ground that played out in rather superficial get-togethers for bowling or ballgames or chattering about sports and trucks over donuts and coffee. All of which would be fine, if out of that there grew a couple of relationships of which I could say, this man knows me well, and I him. There is a oneness between us.

Nothing like it.

I heartily confess that I myself am a big part of this problem. I'm an introvert, and don't readily jump into the deep end of relationships. I'm cranky at times, impatient with what I consider nonsense (especially church nonsense). Also, I seem to have a particular set of interests and tastes that few people share. I don't care about TV, don't go to movies (much), and don't read the latest Christian best sellers.

Anyway, none of that was really the reason I left my church of ten years. But it's back-story to the reason why I'm not leaping into some other Sunday church-experience with both feet.

So, back to the here and now. It's Easter, and I'm sitting here blogging, listening to Ralph Stanley sing Listen to the Shepherd. Willie Nelson sing Uncloudy Day. I'm not "in the wilderness." I'm not a lone-ranger Christian. I want that thing that churches call "fellowship," and I know I'll have it again someday. But for now I'm resting. I'm waiting. I'm watching and praying. And I'm looking forward to an uncloudy day.

And for your added listening pleasure:


MG Priest said...

Great book...Introverts in the Church (Really)
I'm 58 and sometimes feel the way you expressed. HE IS RISEN!

Anonymous said...

they tell me
of an uncloudy day
and i tell you
man it ain't here
i want
some music
that goes down
to the bone
and sing
with a few
simple folk
no pulling of
just fingers
a soulful tune
the vibrating
room can not contain
nor can a heart
so full

Love you,

speculator said...

hey brother-

Just remember Passover- and all it implies. That's better than any contrived pageantry.

Nate said...

Yes- The Resurrection morning itself trumps anything any church has done since. That was certainly an uncloudy day.

Manufactured enthusiasm indeed. Being honest about this stuff brings our sin, and the Resurrection's power, into focus.