It’s 1:11 pm on a Sunday and I’m still in bed. My first thought when I looked at the time was, “Hey, I’m ‘lazin’ on a Sunday afternoon!’ My life is like a Queen song!” My second thought was a little bit of forced guilt for “sleeping through” church.
I say “sleeping through” in quotes because, let’s be honest, I didn’t set an alarm. And I say “forced guilt” because every time I realize that I’ve missed church, my knee-jerk reaction is overwhelming relief.
Sometimes I tell myself that if church were different, I’d actually go. If they didn’t do “this” and had a bit more of “that” then I’d be churchin’ it up every Sunday.
So, I started wondering what church would be like if it catered to only me. How would things go down at the First Church of Sarah Moon?
1. The First Church of Sarah Moon would be introvert sensitive: That’s right- no small talk allowed. No “stand up and greet the folks around you.” Instead, it would be “stand up and form a meaningful relationship and have a deep conversation with ONE person around you.” Yeah, that’d be great.
Also, the church would be wired for social media use. That way, if I wanted to make a friend but was too shy to make the first move, I could simply “like” his/her Facebook status to get things moving. Community would mean that we all followed one another on Twitter. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about the fact that I am a failure at face-to-face communication.
2. The First Church of Sarah Moon would start at 3 pm: No more of this “waking up early” nonsense. It’s the weekend, damn it, and I am going to sleep in.
I love that idea. Using verses as “proof texts” while ignoring the historical and textual context? BS button! Trying to support an important and controversial point using a verse from The Message? BS button! Preaching out of judgement rather than love? BS button! Singing Michael W. Smith? BS button.
So instead of Chris Tomlin and Hillsong, how about we play some quality rock music? Queen anyone? I mean, “You’re My Best Friend” could probably be about Jesus. “Can anybody find me somebody to love?” Jesus! “Fat Bottom Girls?” uh…I’m sure we could find Jesus somewhere in that song.
5. At the First Church of Sarah Moon, communion is more than a stale cracker and a shot of cheap wine: Can pizza count as the body of Christ? I’m pretty sure that if there were pizza back then, Jesus and his disciples would have ordered it for the Last Supper. So can we eat that instead of the stale crackers?
And instead of that little tiny glass of cheap wine (or grape juice for those who think all alcohol is of Satan), how about rum and Coke? Do they make grape rum? I’d settle for Faygo grape pop.
Is this blasphemous? Probably.
It’s also very selfish. Church isn’t about me. These lists for the “perfect church” that I come up with in my head show a lot about me. A lot of negative.
Truth is, I know of a pretty good church that I could go to. They love Jesus, give to the poor, accept gay people, and let women preach.
But I’m selfish, so that’s not enough for me. In my quest for the perfect church, I find myself avoiding a church that’s actually got it right. I find myself avoiding a church that’s actually being The Church because I’m looking for a church that’s being Sarah Moon instead.
I need to change.
And even if I hadn’t found such a great church, I’d still need to change. Because as bad of a taste as some churches leave in my mouth, I still need The Church. I still need to commune with the Body of Christ. I still need to worship with others.
As Shane Claiborne quotes in his book The Irresistible Revolution, “The Church is like Noah’s Ark. It stinks, but if you get out of it, you’ll drown.”
I need The Church.
But it’s not about me.