Monday, January 30, 2006

Bad Sunday

As great as my last Sunday was yesterday was almost the opposite. I know this was probably just a case of bad timing, but it really got to me... During the church service, there is a moment when it is open to the floor for people to state their concerns and or celebrations. One woman stood up, and made a plea for the congregation to continue to donate to their "pantry" for a program where they give food out to a local charity (head start) that feeds those who have a hard time making ends meet. Apparently the pantry was empty and when the charity called to see if they could come pick up the food, she had to turn them away. So, this of course bothered me, and I made it a point to find out how to donate to this (she didn't explain how). After a few more announcements, the pastor then said, "...and by the way, did anyone notice tha choir's new robes?" and went on to explain how someone had donated the new robes to the choir. (which to me looked exactly like the old robes.)
Man, did this burn me up. Here you have the church failing to support a charity of feeding the hungry, and in the next moment they turn around and say 'look at my new clothes'. It pretty much ruined the rest of my day. I know... it was just poor timing, but I wish it didn't happen that way.
After the service, a group of us get together to discuss the day's sermon. It really became clear to me that I don't belong here. I initially agreed to the invite to join, because I thought it was a further way for me to learn, but yesterday didn't sit right with me either. Several of the leaders of the church attend this along with one retired minister. The topic was prayer. One of the church elders, went on to say that he has never prayed for his enemies - and didn't even know how. This also hit me kinda hard, because I'm looking up to these men and women for answers and turns out they are almost as confused as I am. I do feel bad though, because I think I snapped at him to one of his questions. The pastor made an analogy that prayer was like a door. (a good analogy if you ask me). The same gentleman said how he didn't understand the analogy... he said, "ok, if prayer is the door, and the door opens what's on the other side?" No one was answering so I sort of blurted out "God". As soon as I said it I regretted the tone that I said it in. So I think I might check out the "sunday school class" next time, which is held during the same time as the discussion group. Maybe I need to start off with some more biblical teachings before getting into discussions groups.
One other point to mention before getting off this topic... during the sermon, the pastor pointed out that the diciples had only asked Jesus one pointed question "how to pray". This struck me as odd too. I need to look into this one too... It seems to me, if I were walking around with the Big Man himself, I'd be like a 4 year old asking "why" and "how" until he'd probably whack me with a stick.
I'll end this on an up note: I watched a comedian last night on Comedy Central Jim Gaffigan. At one point he got into some relgious jokes that cracked me up. I have some sort of metal problem with comedians though... I can watch a comic for a half hour to an hour, and not even 10 mintues after the show, I can't recall one joke! Strange. The one item I do remember Jim saying was... What if Jesus was a bad carpenter? "Look buddy, I know you're the Messiah and all, but right now you're building me a shed... get to it!" - hee hee.
I'll expand upon this... Do you think Jesus did his stint as a carpenter before or during his calling? Wouldn't that be a conversational piece too... While you're having company over for dinner one night... "See those cabinets over there? They were built by God." Or can you see it from the guests point of view of George and Martha? "Do we have to go over to Jim and Sheryl's tonight? All they do is go on and on about how their kitchen was built by God..."
Ok... I better stop, before I get myself in trouble :)


Lady Arden said...

I'm sorry your experience was bad. I've been a chirchgoer all my life with my family and while people generally don't realize they do things like that, they are just people.

Are you interested in finding out more about the Bible or a religion or what is your goal? Maybe I could help point you to some useful resources. (Er, I realize this is a touchy subject, so if you'd like me to mind my own business I will. But if you're blogging about it, then maybe you're interested in outside input as well. )
Respectfully yours, Lady A

Lady Arden said...

chirchgoer = church-go'er

me = tired

cyen said...

Thanks for the comment Lady A. (I actually like that - chirchgoer) Yes, I would be interested in any resources you could offer me. I basically was brought up as a kid in the church, but it never really took with me. I really disliked going to church. When I hit my teens and got to the point where I was allowed to say "no" I stopped going. It's only been recently that I decided to give it another try (after about 20 years). So I do still have lots of questions, and I don't take things at face value (which makes church difficult for me). Anyway, feel free to share. If you prefer email, that's fine too...
FYI> I just picked up "mere christianity" from CS Lewis.