I wrote this a few weeks ago with no intention of posting it. For some reason I feel led to post it now.
Today was Sunday. I love Sundays! It is one day of the week I long for. It is when I normally get to see my spiritual family and rejoice together with them. I love Sundays because I get to spend the larger portion of my day doing what I love — worship.
But today was different. Today I was home, sick with the flu. But as I thought about it I realized that this was not the only difference about today. I also realized that as of the last few months going to church has been a painful process for me. Our church recently had its pastor resign. There was no sin on his part just a leading of the Spirit to move on.
Being a pastor at heart I immediately was drawn to volunteer my time and services. As I have been involved in small ways with the church over the past months I have seen much that worries me. I see a large gaping void where passion for God should be. I see a blasé attitude where evangelistic zeal should be holding sway. I see cautious fearfulness where boldness needs to be. I see apathy where fervor and joy in worship ought to be. And all of these things have a twofold effect on my heart; heartbroken pain, and outrage.
My heart breaks for sheep who have long, soft, curly wool. Sheep who look content and well fed because their coats hide the emaciated, rib-showing, starving shells that they are. My heart aches because I see sheep who have no recollection of green pastures and still waters. Sheep who are content to appear healthy instead of taking the risk of seeking help. My heart aches . . .
I also am filled with outrage. Outrage because I see men who are supposed to lead and instead stand as if quagmired in indecision and fear. I see men who are supposed to help people achieve a vision of God that is the only means of ever being truly transformed, who instead act as if seeing God is akin to pulling down the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. I am not talking about denying the transcendence of God, I am talking about avoiding the realization that God is transcendent. Why would a leader of God’s people hide from them the one thing they need most?
Please understand that these are people whom I love. I am not trying to be harsh or overly critical, but, like a doctor with a malignant diagnoses, I cannot soften the blow so much that I lull the patient into false hope.
I love Sundays! They are a weekly reminder to me of the hope which keeps me going.
But lately Sundays have been hard for me. I stand in a space consecrated to the worship of God with a people who talk about Him as if He is not present. It has made me wonder if indeed He has chosen to avoid the place where He is named but not known. It rankles. It irritates, and it makes me angry. Not a self righteous anger, but a holy indignation. I am infuriated by the fact that I see my God slighted and His house of worship become simply a meeting place.
So, I am faced with a choice. I can either be bold and declare to the people that they have forgotten why they gather (which will likely get me kicked out) or I can search for a place where God is truly worshipped. I pray God would give me wisdom, for I truly don’t know what to do.