You know those days where you just have really good church? Whether it’s a song that plays and just touches your soul, or the words from the priest are exactly what you need,maybe it’s your favorite reading…whatever it is, you know it when you feel it. Walking out of church, you just know you got served up some classic, organic, GOOD church. This Sunday was one of those days for me. It was too good not to share.
In the wake of absolute craziness surrounding American communities “from sea to shining sea” and having injustices splattered across nearly every news headline, I was exhausted emotionally. The irony of the joy of the holiday season mixed with my own feelings of uneasiness about the celebration of the season (even before lives were shattered by the events in MO and NY), in addition to the impression that things across the country were falling apart, I had had enough. I was/am tired of seeing extremes juxtaposed together, namely:
– people with such wealth & privilege, laden with shopping bags and expensive items — BUT walking blindly past those who are literally freezing to death on my city’s street corners
– rampant racial injustice — BUT some people still asserting that it’s “just a problem with criminals, not race” [ie: the false view of “If I don’t personally experience racism personally, it does not exist”]
– the proclaimed joy of the holiday season – BUT feelings of loneliness and false happiness
Needless to say, I was ready for some good church. So when I walked in and heard the beautiful words of Isaiah 40:1, “Be comforted, be comforted, my people – says Your God.” I leaned back in the pew, unable to breathe for a second. The words took the wind out of me in a beautiful way and I breathed a sigh of relief, feeling the weight of so much slide off of my shoulders.
The priest went on to discuss this exact theme: how we, as a society, are just in need of some good news for once. It was a beautiful period of reflection; a time to really sit back and ponder the state of our country, of our community, and most scary perhaps, our own hearts.
I think that sometimes church/(or whatever your worship space looks like) can serve as the most accurate mirror for you. It gives you an inviting chance to see yourself as you are – to come as you are – and be right where you are. To be in both a physical and figurative space where you can let your guard down is a blessing that I don’t often take enough time to think of.
So as I go through this week, my prayers for myself, the community, and really our whole country/world center around the idea of comfort. How can I comfort those around me? How can I bring comfort to my own heart, for whatever reason it may be feeling unrest? How can the actions that I take positively affect the overall vibe of the streets that I walk on, the people I interact with, and the city that I call ‘home’?
I hope and pray that these words instilled something in you tonight. Even if it just served as a moment to think about the comfort that can come when you take time to reflect (regardless of any formal religious belief you may or may not have), then I believe I have been successful. Blessings.