I am contemplating reposting my posts. I deleted them in concern that perhaps I hurt someone's feelings but frankly have reread them too many times and personally just see them as having said that I need to laugh more and church atmosphere doesn't always lend itself to that. I have been thinking a lot about church life. I think a hearty, let's not take ourselves too seriously, honest look into church atmosphere can never hurt anyone or any church. I was simply contemplating my own pleasant surprise of realizing I miss ridiculous, laugh at ourselves, comiscerating, non-important conversation. I grew up in Valpo which is another one of those hubs of intellectual, theologically heavy places (whether you agree with them or not - PHD's abounded), grew up a Pastor's kid, grew up pondering the church and what it looks like, grew up being seen as that 'pure pastor's kid' who you better behave around, grew up with a dad who also graduated from college, like me, at age 20, undergrad, seminary, Master's degree, PHD under his belt...........phew. Emmaus, like it or not, is full of intellect. Intellect is not a new experience for me. Neither is pious, wonderful worship having grown up listening to God, I mean Rev. Dr. Nagel amoung others, for years at the Chapel at VU. So how to meet the balance between intellect and down to earth, we're all in this together, encourage one another relations is sort of tricky. Having grown up with plenty of intellect floating through the hallways at home, the hallways of my peers, I know that intellect does not always look outside itself. I suppose I could also say to be fair, that intellect should be cautioned to not become self-absorbed. It happens. It should be guarded against. Intellect is valuable but so are people and their ordinary lives.
I personally need to take stock in the beauty of just oridnary life. I was reading Peter the other day where they were saying how they had all heard God say "This is My Son with whom I am well pleased." Their observation and report was striking to me in that it was part of their 'ordinary life' They heard it themselves, they relayed their life experience to others. It related to me and my ordinary life. It certainly was not an ordinary experience but it was their experience and they were sharing their experience with their fellow Christians. It was again, just striking to me. I need to have time to share MY experience with others. It doesn't HAVE to be at church of course but church is not just intellect and the desire to obtain more. My church IS my family in so many ways so why wouldn't I want to share my life experience with them???? The Christian life is experience, sharing it, laughing about it, crying about it (I do enough of that to have a PHD in that subject), and caring to hear other people's experience. I value that time and can not always cope well if that opportunity does not present itself. I love how so much of God's word is God's people's life experience. What I was talking about in my deleted blog posts was a need for that time. I need time to reflect on how God's word applies to my simple life through laughing, thinking out loud with, and enjoying the experience of others and my own experience.
So I contemplate serving my neighbor by taking an interest in them. I desire, as anyone does, to be served in the same way. This can be a challenge. I do not see this post as some bad reflection on my church or the pastors. My pastors are great in taking interest in their people. I personally am contemplating who I can reach out to, laugh with etc. Who might be hurting. Who would be served by some comic relief. I am a person who honestly cares deeply for others. I think others do too but perhaps we all need a kick in the pants sometimes to remember to do that. I just pray I can remember this more than a day or two and remember to take the time to just talk with other people. That is all. I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I need to laugh and enjoy people more.
Bearing the Dividends of the Gospel
2 days ago