Today is Easter. The year is 2008. For some reason, there is a disconnect between today being Easter and my brain. Perhaps it’s because this is my first weekend home in a month. Perhaps it’s because the past month has been so busy I missed all of the church services leading up to today. Perhaps it’s because I am in a state of flux again between here and there. That is not to say that I am considering not living in the Greater Philadelphia area–because I am planning on staying for a while.
I feel really disconnected right now. I can’t seem to connect with my friends. Even if we are talking, there is this disconnect, as if I am straddling two worlds, trying to make sense of which world is the world in which I belong. My old language sounds foreign, contrived to me. But the new language is new…though it has quickly become part of who I am.
I’ll break down the code for you. I left a church a few months back, and started going to another church, a church I had attended for nearly eight years. I was perfectly content, until I went into the more recent church about a month ago. I went out of obligation…I returned home early and thought that I should go to church. I entered the sanctuary and the songs were all about how awesome life is with Christ. (True statements…life with Christ is absolutely better than life without Him.) But…the songs, instead of glorifying Christ, sounded so….selfish, self-serving. So, I left. In the middle of the second song.
Since that day, I’ve been digging deep. I had a conversation with a friend last weekend about the exclusivity of the church. I bought Tim Keller’s book The Reason for God. (I also plan on reading it…)
Usually, at this time of year, I’m going to church, in planning meetings, running around, doing for God. But, was I doing for God? Was I doing for me? Was I doing for the church? Whose life was really impacted for Christ through all of my doing? Did any un-churched person enter into a relationship with Christ as a result of the doing, or did a bunch of “Christians” sleep better because they had a nice service? Did my actions, our actions, make the church more inclusive, or did we propagate our propaganda about how our church is different than that other church down the street, further estranging us from the community.
These are things with which I am wrestling. I am a follower of Christ, but I am disenfranchised with the church, with the Bride of Christ. How can I be both? I don’t know. But I am.