We hear a lot about evangelism today and how the church must pay attention to evangelism. But mostly evangelism is not what we tell people, unless what we tell is totally consistent with who we are. It is who we are that is going to make the difference. It is who we are that is going to show the love that brought us all into being, that cares for us all, now, and forever. If we do not have love in our hearts, our words of love will have little meaning. If we do not truly enjoy our faith, nobody is going to catch the fire of enjoyment from us. If our lives are not totally centered on Christ, we will not be Christ-bearers for others, no matter how pious our words.
So, funny realization on Sunday. As we settled down into Our Pew I leaned over to Jason, “I just realized that I’ve only dropped Judah off in the 3′s class three times since his birthday.” You know, the birthday that was in September. Apparently our attendance has not been all that steady as of late. In the past I would’ve noticed more, but attending Women’s Bible Fellowship and MOPS and the worship discernment meetings and listening to the services on my 12:00/2:30/5:00 am podcast listening times has helped me feel connected to the larger congregation, although in a somewhat compartmentalized/non-nuclear way.
Afterward the service, we went to the appropriate locations for Child Collection and Checkout and then ventured into the fellowship hall to have our pictures taken for the directory. Because last time we took a picture (which we never saw because we’re not the sort of Paper Directory folks – my phonebook begins with a G and ends with an E), there was a lack of Abel-ness, and I can already hear the “why didn’t you take a directory picture when I was born? Why is it the picture with you and my brother? Why don’t you love me as much? Whhhyyyyy?” whine, and I’d prefer to keep that to a minimum. I’m certain he’ll have plenty of reasons to point out that his brother gets more attention than he does which may have something more to do with having an elder choleric brother more than anything (who at this very moment has brought me his Beginner’s Bible for Toddlers and has demanded that I “read da Bible NOW” instead of blogging. Already wielding the healthy parent/spiritual guilt when trying to engage in an activity that does not directly revolve around him: I wouldn’t *possibly* say no to an activity that betters his spiritual self!).
We ran into many friends in the Fellowship Hall, one of which asked how I dealt with service this morning in regards to past posts about worship and joy. I believe the word he used was “dirge”: “I’m convinced there will be no minor chords in heaven.” And I told him that I actually had quite a bit of joy in service, to the point that I had to hide my face because I couldn’t stop giggling, as I was directly in the vision of the pastor as well as two pews over from the president of the college (aka. the man in charge of the institution which provides the paycheck to keep the internet connected so I can engage in properly ignoring my child’s spiritual well being). Why was I so happy and joyful when my friend was not? Because he did not have this going through his head. Yes, we sang the song. No, we did not dance, although one person in the choir had a tambourine, which in NFCland, is pretty Rockin the Casbah. I think the worship pastor picked it out just to spite me.
Yesterday I read a post by a kindred spirit regarding the image she sees when falling asleep which is much more precious than mine but still in the realm of Infectious Biblically-Influenced songs. This morning I wondered if that’s how God deals with all the doom and gloom in the world. Because he gets to see all the funny dances and hear all the funny songs. And when thinks get so dark and dreary, maybe what he really sees is an Irish Catholic man dancing to a Hebrew-oriented song or a toddler bouncing to obnoxious Christianese kid blather and that joy filtrates down to us so that we can manage to go on. God must have some awesome Happy Places.