I mentioned in our Facebook group that Lisa and I went to church on Sunday.
We went for a couple of reasons.
1. I love renaissance church music and was hoping to hear some. Nope.
2. We are trying to find ways to connect with other people. Nope.
It is a high Anglican church with all the bells and incense and holy water, robes, icons, candles, and a completely sung service. There were at least 3 books to follow plus the bulletin. And being sung, I had no idea which direction the notes were going in.
No one introduced themselves except the priest on the way out. He informed us that the church would be closing soon probably. I understood. There were only about 20 people in that huge cathedral.
I was moved by the words of scripture though. He read some of the advent readings from Isaiah and Matthew, etc., and I was impressed by the power of the words I had not heard in years.
My thoughts were, and excuse my language but this is what I thought, “My how we’ve fucked this up!”
The words were words of liberation and freedom, love, acceptance, and unity across the whole earth. Sure, there was conquest imagery sprinkled in there, like God sitting on a throne above his vanquished foes’ blood. But aside from that, the vision for a unified world of love, peace, and justice, were unmistakable. And the church, in my opinion, has gotten so far off track from that it is completely ridiculous and shameful. Although there are some holdouts, the church has become petty and made the gospel message a joke.
When the priest was preaching I wondered if any of us understood the import of those words. The power! The transformative potential they contain!
I’m not talking about a miraculous deliverance from Heaven or anything like that. What I’m talking about it the human ability to take words of justice and transform them into action and policy. What I’m talking about is changing the possibility for peace into an actuality.
Instead, it’s almost like we’ve focused on the vanquishing our foes part.
When I left the building I realized that placing my hope in institutions is hopeless. Just like I’ve recently discovered that placing my hope in main stream media for information was misguided and futile, so placing my hope in religion for personal peace, justice, and love is misguided too.
We’re on our own. Which means we are responsible for ourselves. We have to be the fact-checkers. We have to be the truth-hearers and truth-bearers. We have to decide what is best for ourselves and go for it without waiting for permission or access.
It’s a very liberating feeling… this necessity for personal independence. But it does mean more responsibility. It does mean more perseverance. It does mean more love.
And I’m up for that because the alternative is slavery, stupidity, fear, and hate.
Much love to you guys, and thanks for listening!