I LOVE CHURCH.
I wouldn’t dare say something like this around my friends in high school. In college it was too ‘mainstream’ to be so supportive of the ‘established institution.’ But now that I’m a big boy, and in the life of ordination, I think that I can say that I really do love it.
(Warning: this is cheesy)
I often talk with people about healthy relationships and love…usually pertaining to human relationships:). You know what most people would say? They tell me that love is just something that ‘you know inside’ when you meet that person in your life. They then go on to say how they understand and know that their partner isn’t perfect, but the funny part is that they can’t even notice it–it just doesn’t register as an ‘imperfection’ to them. That’s sort of how I feel.
I remember in ‘Remember the Titans’ a line where coach Boone (Denzel) takes a deep breath, and says something to the idea of ‘this is where is all makes sense.’ He was talking about football, but I understand what he’s getting at. I get the same feeling inside a sanctuary when I walk inside. If you want to see me cry (I tear up easily), just put me in front of a great church scene in a movie.
Even with all of its imperfections (many, many imperfections), I still love church. Sunday morning is where life makes sense to me. Even when I am tired, angry, apathetic, or mentally distracted, I rather be no place else. Even though there is plenty of ‘bad’ church out there, I love it.
I love the community that exists. I love the way people dress. I love the idea that ultimately, the church gives ‘the bird’ to secular society. I love the choreography of worship. I love the small meetings in basements, and poorly decorated rooms. I love the creativity. I love the theology. I love the Bible. I love the music. I love being part of something bigger than yourself. I love the mystery. I love the doubt. I love the silence. I love youth group. I love church buses. I love the intricacy. I love meeting strange people. I love God. I love creaky sanctuary floors. I love albs. I love Sunday School. I love choir rehearsal. I love pews. I love incense. I love the language. I love walking to church. I love Sabbath. I love Bible studies. I love prayer meetings. I love Session meetings. I love Jesus. I love lock-ins. I love debates. I love reconciliation. I love liturgy. I love praying. I love holidays. I love the liturgical calendar. I love sacraments. I love church socials. I love confessions. I love denominations. I love the Holy Spirit. I love faith. I love the nursery. I love the organ. I love the simplicity. I love praise bands. I love gospel fests. I love meditation. I love the mythology. I love revivals. I love the old pictures. I love ashes. I love church signs. I love steeples. I love history. I love the stories.
All of this, and more I’m sure, are things that get me up in the morning. These are things that I laugh about considering them to be ‘work’ for my schedule. Maybe this is why the Catholic tradition takes the ‘vows’ to the church. Don’t get me wrong; there’s a reason I decided to pursue ordination within the PC(USA) and not in the Catholic Church, but I understand it a little better now. I just have to find a partner who will put up with my other love:).