Christopher Columbus, was, as history tells us, a pretty awful person. His accidental bumping into what would become known as the Americas is a source of false history that every child has been taught for far too long. For many of us, this false holiday has become just another Monday, and the church, in the way we often do, has tried to replace it with “Indigenous People’s Day”. While this title appears on our church calendars, few people I know take it seriously. We just move on with our lives.
The church in America is a hybrid of secular and sacred, and we spend far too much energy maintaining that alliance. We have American flags in our sanctuaries; we have Thanksgiving services and promote Santa Claus as some kind of religious symbol. We sing patriotic songs on the Sundays of Memorial Day and the 4th of July. These are just a few of the ways we try to blend the teachings of a mostly pacifist Rabbi with a capitalist nation that always seems to be at war. I don’t know if there are better ways to do this, but I would like to try.
I want the church to be less secular and more spiritual. I would like our members to choose worship over soccer. I would like it if our folks joined a bible study as well as studying Oprah’s book of the month club. I’m not saying that none of our members do these things; far from it! Their numbers, however (at least in the Mainline churches) are fairly meager. I would like to see our members get as excited about doing God’s work as they are about watching the Eagles play on Sunday afternoon. I would like our devotion to the Kingdom of God to equal or surpass our love of country.
I don’t think the church should be our only priority; in fact, this is one of the things I find disturbing about many churches that expect their members’ social lives to revolve around them and them alone. That kind of cultic behavior is, I believe, dangerous for the soul. We live, as Jesus said, in the world, but we aren’t supposed to be of it. We allow our politics to guide our faith, rather than the other way around. We could do so much better; we could use our faith to make the world a more inclusive, welcoming, caring, and loving place to live. Too many people of faith use Jesus as a battering ram. I would like to see Him offered as an oasis. This is what I want from the church – what do you want?
Prayer – God, You are the source of our being – You are the creator of all things – thank You for giving us abundant life. Amen.
Today’s art is “Empowered” by Claire Casey.