I am visiting a new church. I think finding a church that fits is a very difficult task. I love the saying, “When you find the ‘perfect’ church, don’t join it, because when you join it, you’ll ruin it.” That makes me laugh!! It’s so true. We’re all fallen. None of us are perfect. We’re all people with warts, bumps, bruises, baggage and sins.
I’ve never thought of a church as being a permanent place to stay. Just as friendships change, people change and situations change, I think it’s only natural that your choice of a church may change. I don’t think it’s wrong to stay at a church for decades, nor do I think it’s wrong to change to a new church.
But, that doesn’t make changing any easier.
Through the years, we’ve been to some wonderful churches. Some had phenomenal teaching, but we made few friends. Some were full of people we adored, but we struggled with decisions made on a leadership level. Some were just difficult, but we felt we were supposed to be there.
So, here we are again, in a new church, looking around at faces that we don’t recognize and waiting for what happens next. How can I serve? Where am I needed? And, if I’m not, why am I here?
This past Sunday was an especially moving service for me. In crying out to God, asking Him to speak to me and move me…. to make me new…. teach me something fresh ….. show me Himself …. I thoroughly enjoyed the first part of the service. One after another, people read from The Word…. first from one book of the Bible … then from another. Some sections were long, others short. None included “babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,” but they were all appropriate to the season. And I was grateful for a chance to flip from book to book, read and bask in His voice.
After the evening service children’s musical, we had snacks in the fellowship hall with an authentic Santa. I don’t guess I’ve been photographed with Santa since I was … about ten. Joy has never had her picture taken with Santa. Yeah, I’m one of those horrendous moms who has told her kids from the start that there is no Santa. I know: gasp. You know what? When I was young, my friend Joni spilled the beans. I still remember my immediate thought: If my parents lied about Santa, what else had they lied about?
So, we have stockings and we have, upon occasion, pretended Santa. But, my kids have always known it was a game based on a real man’s actions (the true Saint Nicholas from history). Shoot! If I’ve gone to all the trouble to try to find the “perfect gifts” for my kids, why do I want to let some imaginary guy get all the credit? It’s worked for us. So, after treats of star shaped cookies and marshmallow treats, we took a minute to visit with Santa and have our picture taken. That was fun!
While I’m posting things that don’t seem to fit together – like Santa in the fellowship hall with a communion cup in the sanctuary – I think I’ll throw in two more photos.
I found myself distracted by this guy’s awesome boots! Can I post this without getting into trouble? I just kept thinking how sharp this guy looked in those boots with that incredible scarf and blazer.
So, let me ask you a few questions?
Have you changed churches lately? Was it a difficult move to make? What’s the hardest part for you?
Have you had your photo taken with Santa any time recently?
And what distracts you in church?