Now, I am a regular church goer. But this time around I went to my friend Jody’s midday church service at Saint Joseph of Arimathea in Hendersonville. Beyond Jody, I don’t know anyone else that goes to his church (except his wife) and being that Jody is the minister it was a really odd feeling being in a strange church land.
Saint Jo’s is Episcopalian which I generally enjoy, but also frequent infrequently. Just enough to forget some of the rituals that bond that community. I was glad this go round that Jody put scriptures onto the bulletin & that the midday service didn’t have any singing. That meant I only had one book to worry about juggling.
Jody preached the gospel message on Matthew 6, as any good Episcopalian priest would.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
His message circulated on standing out, reflecting God’s glory & not our own ego. I couldn’t help but think that I stood out at the church. It is a smaller church community than what I am used to. I’m sure people wondered..Who was this visitor person. He didn’t quite get right all the ups and downs. Sorta knew the liturgies.
This was my frame of mind going in and out of midday service.
So I came to realize.. I have a lot of myself I need to get over. Shall I give myself up for Lent?