So...this weekend was really good. I got to spend quite a bit of time with my family and really got to play with the kids. With me working most Saturday mornings, it somewhat limits what kind of time I have to spend with them.
I have to admit all yesterday morning I was dreading all the work that goes in to Easter. I mean, we wanted to be at church early, then we would have a longer service, come home, finish doing some last minute things before people came over, cook, eat, and then start cleaning. It really wasn't like that.
It started just like expected. Lots of stress...not really getting to enjoy the day. Thoughts of why I hate religion started running through my head. I couldn't wait to be able to write a blog about it today. Really there are a lot of things that churches do that just drive me insane. So many of them miss the point. They turn things that God intended for being a part of a meaningful relationship into "sacraments" or "rituals" that end up meaning almost nothing to most and the only reason so many participate is because they believe it is what they are supposed to do. Now, don't get me wrong, I believe churches can do some of these things, but it must be done in the right heart and for the right reasons....not just because its what we have always done or because its part of what we have been taught we have to do.
Anyway...off that soap box.
Once we got to the sermon portion of the service, I was able to relax a little. I was able to listen. I was able to open myself up to what God would be saying to me. Now...I had some idea as to what the pastor was going to speak about. He had shared it with a couple of us earlier in the week. It intrigued me. It was...a change in view.
I could give you my version of what the sermon was, but in reality it came down to this. Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins...not only that, but to shake us up....destroy religion....and give us a wake up call that it is about having a relationship with God.
Close to the end of the sermon the sound system went out...so the last song was done acapella, and I was able to leave without being distracted, and being able to rest in knowing that God had told me it was ok to have the thoughts of not wanting anything to do with religion. Now, I'm not saying that God necessarily validated my feelings and that made things ok, but rather He knew what I needed and reminded me that He was still there and ready to listen. He knows what I am going through...and I am not alone.