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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Do You Hear What I Hear?

“Father God, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight.”

Look at these two pictures and I’ll tell you a story.

The first picture was one of the thirty-one trees in the home of Terry and Sandy Deforge-MacKean in Lively, Ontario.  If you click on their names, you’ll see childhood and love in motion.


And yes -- that IS a pride tree.

The second picture was from the house next to the one that had the second party I attended tonight -- and that was Mike and Kim's in Copper Cliff, Ontario.



At Mike and Kim’s house – we ate good food, sang hymns and carols, discussed repentance, deliverance and speaking in tongues at the grocery store.  We laughed, we cried… we were fed physically and spiritually and all of it – all of it – in, under, over and around the name of Jesus Christ.

Why is it, do you suppose that both of these pictures, both of these “signs” cannot co-exist in the same house of worship?  Let me correct that, because there are congregations now where they do exist in the same house of worship.  Why can’t they co-exist in all houses of worship? 

I’m having great difficulty returning to the church; I really am.  It’s either that my foot has grown too big for the shoe, or the shoe has grown too small for my foot.  I miss hymns.  I miss the fellowship of song and praise.  And yes – I admit it in my steely little heart – I miss Jesus.  That being said, every single time I darken the door of a church lately, I feel like I don’t belong there anymore. Why?  For several reasons, actually… the first one being that I do not believe and can’t believe that Jesus is the only way to God.  I cannot believe that God would have a selected list of people who have prayed the sinner’s prayer in a pique point of emotionalism (and then lived the rest of their lives tripping over their brethren in the street) trump an atheist ladling out mashed potatoes in a soup kitchen.  That makes no logical sense whatsoever.  I cannot believe in a God that does not celebrate the love of two married men or women who have the world of children and wonder lit up throughout their home – as much as He would the celebrate the live Nativity Scene at Science North.  Now there’s a dichotomy.

I want to be a minister in a church where everyone is welcome.  I want to be a chaplain of a faith that excludes no one.  Please God, show me that church and I will fall at the altar weeping tears of joy and I will serve You until I cease to draw breath (and for however many lifetimes after that).  Well, actually, I’ll serve You regardless – payback, you know… but it sure would be nice to have someplace where my belief system actually fit in with, oh… I don’t know… 10 other people.  I want just a dash of reincarnation, a sprinkling of the love of trees and nature.  Perhaps a dollop of do no harm – that would be nice.  I want people to be married in the church because of how they commit their lives and love to the people they love.  I want a place where we can lift our voices in song and praise to a God that loves us back.  And if the Old Testament really was You at some point in history, I really like the theology that You knocked up a virgin, had a kid and got a grip on your anger issues.  Everyone – every – one… is redeemable.  I mean, You saved me.

My prayer this Christmas, Sir… is that these two pictures – with 10,000 more to follow in varying light and color displays of the EXACT SAME STORY – could become one.