I don’t want to go to church today.
It will mean a day of short sleep, as my evening is full. It will mean sitting down and praying with self-righteous hypocrites. It will mean sitting politely with people who would not speak to me if they had the choice.
It will mean the reminder that I have no right to be there. Non-church people will not perhaps understand that the encounter with perfect truth is the mirror that shows our faults, our wounds, and our injuries. It is the diagnostic tool that reveals I am terminally ill with imperfection, with evil. I fail to do good. I fail to avoid evil that I hate, but that I love and enjoy.
Instead of saying “I’m a sinner”, let us say, “My evil gets a spotlight in the presence of the Light of the World.”
Church is a poisoned place more often than not. Publicly known evils are a layer smeared over the hidden ones, the ones that we hold silently until we are alone in the quiet before sleep, or the forced privacy of long, long drives. Some of the evils are flashy, former criminals, former addicts, users, manipulators, and pharisees. Some of them are more insidious, the paralyzing balm of self-righteousness, the deadly stabs of gossip and jealousy, which are listed next to homosexual activities and theft on the list of things we cannot embrace and have part in Christ.
Church is where these wicked, evil people go.
It is not a club of the holy. It is the family of the MADE HOLY, where goodness is slapped on, where our wicked hearts get a terminal case of Holy Spirit cancer, which grows, changing and eating away at our evilness day by day on the inside.
Church is a triage tent for obvious monsters like criminals, and subtle monsters like the rest of the members, whose inhuman nature only sparkles when drug into the sunlight.
(Yes, that’s right, I made you think of Twilight. Did I mention I was evil?)
So Church is precisely where I belong. Therefore I shall go, to poison my poisoned heart with a terminal redemption, to irradiate my Kaiju desires with the megaton blast of the means of grace, and maybe the bitter hateful people who know my sins and hate me as I deserve, will see God forgive me, and they will think how much easier it would be for God to forgive their sparkly vampire hides, and they will come forward as well.
Monster triage is at 9 am. Meet you there.