"Laaaaate is the hour", as Grima Wormtounge once said in a deep English accent(for your LOTRingers out there). I'm sitting at the little "nook" in the kitchen, surrounded by the dark and writing on the girls' laptop. Mine's in the bedroom where Mrs. A is experiencing deep REM stage sleep right about now. Something I'll be back to doing momentarily, just after I rid my mind of this little conundrum.
For the life of me, I haven't decided where to settle into a "church home" with my family. We've pretty much pulled away from the Church of Christ congregation where we'd attended for the past 3.5 years, due to unresolved youth ministry issues and other things having to do with our incompatibilities. Sad in a sense, but we did manage to make a few good friends while attending there.
We've since attended services with another Church of Christ, the Baptists, the Hyper-Calvinists and have held home worship (which we all enjoyed). I even sat in with the local "Church Of England" when I was traveling out of town on a Wednesday evening. In a few short weeks, we've been privy to Predestination, procrastination, singing with musical instruments or without (note...a pitch pipe is still a musical instrument), communion every week or quarterly, preachers being called "pastor" or just "brother so and so". Women doing nothing at all in worship, except sitting there quietly...or not. Having a choir or only congregational singing, separate classes segregated by age or family integrated worship? Prayer books or extemporaneous prayer? Doctrine abounds.
What ever happened to meeting with the saints/sinners on Sunday morning for an actual "worship" time, where that's what we actually do. Just worship. You know, plain old singing, prayer, communion and scripture being read by different men (possibly within the framework of a weekly theme, but not shackled to that). The worship is the centerpiece and not the preaching. Those who desire sitting through a lectureship, may stay for such an event to be held after worship. Others who desire to study alone or with a smaller group or go and eat or rest or go about their lives, may leave and not be chastised for doing so. Why are we bound to evening services on Sunday and Wednesday, which in my opinion are there as a way to make us feel pious toward our brothers and sisters, who do not attend these "extra-credit" services. My work takes me away from my family at times and I have no desire to get in my car and drive to a building, only to be separated from them for another hour or 2 on Sunday and Wednesday evening. Nor should I or my family be held accountable for not holding to such a schedule.
Isn't "church", the collective body of believers...no matter where they meet? It's not a building, for the love of Pete. When I hear the term "the Lords house" my Catholic Radar goes into overload. It's one of those descriptions that sound holy but need some defining before being thrown around loosely.
In retrospect, some of us hold our doctrines/traditions a little too close to the vest...in idolatry. A doctrine or tradition may or may not be based in truth. And what is relevant or even true at one point in history, may not be relevant or true in current times. We need to realize that 2 roads from 2 different starting places can and do lead to the exact same destination. That is a truth. There are common laws that must be adhered to on both roads but both roads offer different scenery and a different experience than than the other. Some of us get the scenery that we experience on our journey, confused with the destination itself. We can even become convinced that our particular journey is the ONLY way to the destination. No others will do. This is a lie. For although there are common laws that apply to every journey, many roads can and do lead to the same destination.
More on "the journey" later. For now, the sandman has crept up behind me and daylight is fast approaching. I need a warm blanket and a bit of sleep. Good morning to you all.