church fantasies I have
note: picture above is from our last community outreach event just before the pandemic hit—our annual Toy Give
the other day in a staff meeting, a question came up about whether or not we should do more explaining to the church about why we are currently not having normal worship (congregational singing) in our services.
I think we probably could do a better job of communicating what we are doing and why
I also feel torn over raising the subject.
there are people who would be happy to gather for church and break all the COVID guidelines with maskless singing and the return of kids classes and big hugs with germs all around
and there are people who are still not comfortable coming to church until COVID is under control and 80% of the population has been vaccinated
so, reminding everyone why we are doing what we are doing probably won’t make anyone happier or change their view on things
the ones who want to break free from all the regulations will be unsatisfied with our explanation
and the ones who aren’t comfortable coming to church will still be watching from home, if and when they think of it
I have this church fantasy
that everyone would applaud our careful following of the rules
that everyone would see that our caution is out of concern for the vulnerable
that everyone would be proud of our church for doing the right thing
that everyone would thank the pastors for leading well
but I know it’s a fantasy
I wish it would happen
but I know it won’t likely
and that got me on a wave of thinking about my fantasies (I have more)…
I fantasize that our church would be:
wildly diverse yet unified in purpose
completely over and done with judgment
quick to embrace the arts and celebrate beauty
resolute with Jesus at the center of our identity and practice
worshiping like the black church – all-in body, soul, spirit engagement
moving with ease between charismatic expression and quiet contemplation
deeply committed to caring for our local community through service and generosity
in our feels – quick to laughter and easily moved to tears
informed by the Sermon on the Mount in our politics
a storehouse of good food to share
really gifted at throwing parties
safe, humble, and gentle
working for justice
* * *
I know fantasy isn’t a Bible word. Maybe I’m talking about dreaming of the impossible. That might sound a bit more biblical…
There’s a verse in the Bible (Romans 4.18) about Abraham—and it says he, “against all hope, believed.” This has become an expression in the English language, to “hope against all hope.” It means to continue to hope for something even though it seems unlikely to happen.
Exactly. That’s what I’m talking about.
This is my fantasy and you can’t talk me out of it.
Brian, you have the makings of a book outline here. My Fantasy Church would be an excellent, even prophetic, call for a return to the heart of God’s work. If you need an editor, let me know!