Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday Morning Musings

It's a little after 7:00 a.m. and I am doing what I usually do on Sunday mornings -- getting ready to leave the house for church.    And thinking about others who are and are not doing the same thing.
For some, the next few hours will be a time of deep, rich engagement with God, through communal music and prayer and scripture and preaching.
For others, the same outward activities will conceal an inner experience of busy-ness and preoccupation, or hassle and nuisance, or turmoil and unrest, or boredom and irritation.
For others, the morning will be a time for social connection, in the hallways before worship and at the coffee hours after.
And for many, many others, whatever is taking place in houses of worship this morning remains completely irrelevant to their conscious lives.
Having been all of those people at various points in my adult life, I find myself now unable to pinpoint what it is that makes the difference. 
I don't believe that God calls some to worship and others, not, so it isn't God. 
I don't believe that the entire responsibility lies with those who lead worship, whether pastors or musicians or liturgists, who on any given day may be more or less well prepared, more or less aware of the movement of the congregation as a whole, more or less attuned to individual nuances in behavior or response. 
And I don't believe that it all falls on the congregation or the individuals who make it up ~ or don't ~  and who bring to worship, or to whatever else they are doing with their morning, whatever it is they have to bring.
I do believe that I should have a better handle on this, though.


  1. I don't have an answer, either, and agree that the burden doesn't have to fall on God or clergy.

    I'm also coming to believe that it's ok to ride out a season of irrelevance, trusting that if we keep showing up (as able, sometimes, -ish), it will pass.

  2. I love your knowing and not-knowing about this, and your willingness to share it. Why should you have a "better handle" on it? Your authenticity is the best form of ministry, in my eyes.
    I would love to discuss this question with you someday. Gregg seems not to benefit at all by church attendance at this point, even if he enjoys the sermon or respects the minister, because he feels so much resistance to attending (and what's that about? - I've been asking him for over 25 years). I resist attending (though I love it when I do go) because I feel so uncomfortable in crowded gatherings since Katie died. I am drawn to the small, early-morning (or evening) services which are not well-attended, and not big social occasions. I am far more drawn to read and pray daily, and walk in nature, but I do miss some aspects of being in community. I suspect that this will change with time, just as everything else has, in the wake of her passing. Thank you for bringing this up!