Sunday, December 24, 2006
In which our heroine reflects on her family at the holidays
The festivities themselves went quite swimmingly. I got some stuff, had lots of food and saw the prettiest, smartest, most wonderfulest baby niece on the planet. It was good.
Then, this morning, my family went to church. I didn't want to go, but I figured, well. It's Christmas, no need to make a giant fuss and upset my mother. So I went. And I just sat there, listening to the message thinking to myself -- this is the exact opposite of who Jesus was and the message he actually delivered. Do they realize this?
Because they were talking about the Rapture! And the Second Coming! When Jesus, who was born in a stable to an unwed teenage mother and spent his entire life poor and wandering, telling people to be good to each other and be meek and modest and not lust after wealth and power and the other things the world values, will return. On a white horse, in the air, and he will grab all the Christians up with him to whisk them away to Heaven. (And let the rest of us finally breath a sigh of relief and go about the job of putting the world in order.) And then, for seven years, all those Saints will be in Heaven praising and singing and just being all happy and joyful about King Jesus. (Ignoring, for the moment, that Jesus as God wouldn't be in a physical form. Or if he was, why would we assume it was a human form? And Heaven, as the place God 'lives' wouldn't be a physical place either, since God isn't a physical person. Because if he was a physical person, he would be subject to the rules He set up for the physical world and would be long, long dead. But anyway.) Where was I? Praising King Jesus (And yes, he said that just like that. King Jesus.) Jesus, the one who rejected all praise and fame while he was actually here on earth? Jesus, the one who rebuked the kings of his time? That Jesus? Okay.
Then! Here's the good part -- King Jesus is gonna go back to Earth! To get those people who were left behind. And is he gonna be all loving and compassionate and forgiving and accepting? You know, like he was when he was actually alive? Oh, no. No no. He's going to take his Army of Saints, knock down the mountians and take the throne in the temple in Jerusalem. He's going to 'speak an angelic word' and slay the enemies of God! Because JC was all about the slaying when he was on earth. Remember how he ordered his army to whack the Romans? Good times. Good times.
I'm sitting in church, listening to this and I'm thinking "What the hell is wrong with you people???" Because why would you follow a god who wants to kill and maim and punish? It doesn't make sense to me. And how, exactly, do you go from Jesus, the pinnacle of peaceful revolution and resistance, to King Jesus the Destroyer? *sigh* And they wonder why people don't like them?
OOOOH! Plus, the preacher decided to detour from the message to talk about the evils of 'seeker centered' worship. It's where, the church goes into the community and *gasp* asks people what they need from a religious community. Find out what they need, what they want, what would make them come to church. And then -- get this -- give it to them. I know, shocking right? Actually looking for genuine need instead of just handing out the same old same old over and over again, and wondering why people don't respond?
So. That's what I did this morning. I did manage to not walk out this time. So I suppose that's a plus. Or something.
Then we went home and opened our presents. And that was fun. And nice.