50 States Church Surch, Week 30
Christian Life Center
What a way to choose a church. I picked two, one starting at nine, option two at ten-thirty. Wrote directions to the nine o'clock church and rode around in frustration looking for the street until the start time passed. Drat! Followed the directions for Christian Life Center and made it a half hour early, only to find it started at ten rather than ten thirty. At least I found it and wasn't late. I took a few deep breaths and found a seat.
The faithful were young, with a seasoning of…um-seasoned folks and the most mixed race church so far. Worship had started, four guitars, one keyboard, drums and a singer that looked twelve. Was she twelve or was my age showing? The music was super modern, with stanzas that didn't seem to have poetic rhythm. Now my age is really showing. "Back in the day, we sang music that made sense, had a pace and rhythm and...what was I saying again?"
A man danced barefoot in the front area. Sounds weirder than it looks, and after a bit another man danced in his socks. Others danced a bit in place and some raised their hands. I'm okay with all that. Thinking about it, I believe the shoes off must be from when Moses heard God in the burning bush. 'Take off your shoes, you're on holy ground.' Or perhaps athlete's foot.
On the last song, one guitarist encouraged us all to raise our hands during the song. While I have no problem raising my hands in worship, I'm not okay with someone telling me to do so. I'm just saying. Next a woman came up and encouraged us about God not stressing over our issues. I've never thought God did stress over my pitiful little issues. Now me stressing? That's a different story.
The preacher today was the youth pastor, a younger guy who preached about forgiveness. He used the scriptures Hebrews 6:13-20 and Genesis 14:17-20. I can find nothing from either text that in any way refers to forgiveness. He also spoke about Melchizedek, who brought bread and wine for Abram, and indicated it was the first communion. Okay, I could go with that, although bread and wine were very common elements in those days. Then he indicated that today we would have an unusual communion, as the plates and cups sat in front, but no bread or juice. Then we did nothing to have an 'invisible communion' or whatever he was attempting to teach.
He concluded with warning us we would end in 'awkward silence,' a time that makes people uncomfortable as we would meditate on The Lord. Then he ended the service and people exited and mingled. I neither saw nor experienced any
'awkward silence.' Maybe I am suddenly getting quite old, because there were many things during this service that I just didn't 'get.' Dadburn younguns. Back in my day a man said what he meant to say, and that was it! As I was saying...what was I saying?
Or, what was he saying?
I exited and wandered about, no one chatting with me except one fellow (a fellow gray guy) who offered me a 'have a nice Sunday,' and I returned the offer. I left and pondered a few things.
If the church is over twelve years old (the building erected in 2000), why is there only three hundred people?
Am I getting old, or are they un-understandable? I think sometimes preachers overthink things and make simple things complicated.
Is dancing barefoot in church weird? David danced before the Lord wearing what I understand to be his underwear, and today I read Isaiah where he went around for three years, barefoot and naked, prophesying. That would seem pretty weird, right? I didn't have a problem with the dancing. Other churches have danced, one waved flags, some used castanets, tambourines, and plenty of people clapped. Some kneel and many are quite reserved. I would say if it isn't offensive and not an attempt to draw attention to oneself, then do what you will. As long as your worship is real and genuine.
A good worship church, but enough things to scratch my head and wonder what's the matter with me to make me wonder about a permanent home here. Perhaps the senior pastor is understandable. Unless it's me. Then I blame my history of head trauma.
Now where did I put my shoes?