Before I get to today's message I would like to share the following COVID-19 Anthem performed by the John Lennon Worship Band back in the days of all things Pandemic. This was before churches reopened across Minnesota at glacial speeds. Back in the day of closures when I was ready to attend almost any church just short of those that handle.. SNAKES.
IMAGINE there's no COVID ..
it's easy if you try..
No SOCIAL DISTANCE controls us..
No FAUCI sayin' "yer gonna die!"
IMAGINE all the people ATTENDING CHURCH today..
You may say that I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
when STREAMING CHURCH is done
- John Lennon Worship Band
But that was so 2020.. now churches were open again. Fundamentalists, Progressives, Catholics, Lutherans, the rest of them Pentecostal folk including a few Name it Claim it Prosperity Gospel venues all doin' their Sunday 'thang'.
As the drinking phrase goes.. What's your poison? Ok, poison is not a good analogy while those 'snake handlers' are still out there, but the point is now we can go ANYWHERE that fits your denominational bent.
So onward and forward we go where your stereo-typical guy (not me) does not want to go to church. His attitude and thoughts are captured below..
- the 'some guy' Sunday morning monologue
I could tell this was going to be a very bad day to go to church. Just getting out of bed was tough enough.. and the Sunday paper was calling my name…. “psst fella, over here… read me!” And my smartphone loaded lock stock and barrel with Social Media apps stream (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, TickTok, Instagram, etc) and all call to me with Sunday morning memes and silly cat pictures.
AND.. The glorious morning coffee is brewing, and it calls to me too.. “hey guy, slow down.. it’s Sunday.” So, I listened to the voices.. I grabbed the paper, my smartphone, a BIG cup of coffee.. and I am ready for ..no-action.
Now I am a good Christian man and I realize it is Sunday, BUT sometimes as the leader of our family it is important to declare a family day!.. meaning.. we stay home from church so we can spend quality time together bonding.
Ok, ok.. 'family day' is actually code for I WANT TO STAY HOME AND NOT SHOWER UNTIL NOON… drink a pot of coffee, and read the Sunday funnies, the sports section, and watch funny cat videos on my phone.
Well I may be the head of the house, BUT my wife wants no part of 'family day'. She wants to leave the comfort of our home and sing with the blessed saints at our church.
Sing? I don’t like to sing, and I know the people I go to church with, and while they are nice.. SAINTS they AINT.
So off we go to church leaving my Sunday morning paper and my coffee at home. “goodbye paper! Goodbye coffee!”…
Next, off we go down that familiar road to that familiar church to see familiar church folk with the backseat of our family car loaded with our darlin’ children who set the mood by bickering and fighting the whole blessed drive to church… I am now SOOO in the mood to worship. NOT! as I lament a ‘family day’ lost.
We arrive at the blessed house of God and are immediately greeted by overzealous handshakers welcoming me like they thought I wanted to be there... instead of drinking coffee with by BFF (the Sunday Paper).
In the Fellowship Center they have coffee.. but it is not STARBUCKS, or Folgers, or even SANKA! I like my coffee strong and black (like a middle linebacker), but my church serves it in the traditional big ALUMINUM DRUM that has been used but not cleaned since the Eisenhower Administration.
This is not real coffee.. it is CHURCH COFFEE, but I down a couple cups of this caffeine fix to stay awake during the upcoming service, but this comes with some .. bladder side effects.
After the formalities of church coffee and donut holes we move to church sanctuary. We have no theater seating at our church but instead use traditional wooden (with no pads) church pews where I sit and pray for a sliver free service. The sanctuary is not really so crowded, but I am a big guy, and the ambiance falls short in comfort to sitting in MY living room drinking MY coffee, and reading MY Sunday paper.. in MY PJs!! without the risk of slivers…
BUT I DIGRESS… again!
Our Worship Leader is a bit over the top, and his Las Vegas flair certainly is noticeable during his rendition of ‘The King is Coming’.. This only serves to bring the ‘worship wonders’ out of the wood work.
I don’t sing so ‘goodr’, and my sense of rhythm is that of a badger with back spasms. IT’S NOT PRETTY… But no worry.. we have all the 'charismaniacs' to make up for me… performing for style points again.
We have Bullwinkle, the six-shooter, a lady who appears to have WINGS, and then I have to get the seat behind this guy with the plumbers backside with hands raised high. It is like the 'Worship Circus' has come to town.
Even when the people are not hootin’ and hollerin’ they are peculiar.. AND past Sunday mornings have not been free of controversy.
Before the 'The Covid' there was the Great Head-Lice Epidemic of 1994.
The Cal Ripken of ushers who should have just taken a sick day instead of infecting and grossing out the parishioners one communion Sunday in 1998. AND .. with regards to our church being full of grace.. well NOT to the repeat offenders.
NEXT..The offering/guilt plate is passed which I with a smirk I say.. ”no thanks, I am trying to cut back on giving.”
PREACH IT BRUTHA'
After the above tithes & offerings are collected Pastor 'whatz his name' saunters up to the pulpit… armed only with one lapel microphone and the word of God.
Pastor words and mannerisms are direct, and passionate, but with his zipper accidentally was left wide OPEN that less than holy smirk returns to my face and I PRAY “Dear God please keep me from giggling!” Nothing sounds sillier than a big man giggling at church!
The service ends without incident, and I return home to my 'family day' lost. The magic is gone, and I have missed almost half of the Sunday Afternoon game of the week. ARGH!
I do hope and pray there are jewels in my crown someday in Heaven because on this day.. I WAS AT CHURCH worshiping with the saints (lol) when I wanting to be home worshiping God in my own way with my new VR Church Gaming System.
- THE END of the 'some guy' Sunday morning monologue
Now, I must say again. I am not that guy.
Truth be told, I look forward to Church most every week. It is the gathering of Christ's followers to first and foremost worship Him... and this fellowship of flawed folk is the REAL Church intentionally loving God, each other, and others as ourselves.
May God bless and encourage each of you today even if some weeks you resemble the above mentioned 'anonymous guy'.
Jeff (donning another Pajama Day look) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson