An enjoyable garden day was had yesterday, which was much needed. I found my new favorite rose: the Ellen Willmott hybrid tea. The flowers are very subtly colored, and the stems are a gorgeous dark reddish brown. Looks very antique and “Victorian”. And the bees loved it!
We went to church this morning as well. We were a bit late, unfortunately, so we missed doing the whole palm procession thing, but otherwise it was a very enjoyable experience. Now here’s the thing: I’ve been debating with myself over going to church for a good long while now. I used to take my son to a church way back when he was 3 or 4, and he had to go to the kid’s spiritual education while I went to the sanctuary. It was nice, we both enjoyed it. But in the last few years, the few remaining vestiges of my theistic beliefs have mainly fallen away. I consider myself a secular humanist now, in fact. Probably 98% of the way to atheist from agnostic.
So why church?
And why a very traditional one, with full liturgy and all that?
The simple answer is: I’m lonely. I need community.
I miss home. My mom is a nice Lutheran lady, very Midwestern.
I miss her terribly, as I haven’t been able to visit in a good long while.
So why church? I spent so much of my teen years rebelling against that staid, musty old-school protestant stuff. Decided that Christianity just didn’t fit me at all, couldn’t speak to my needs and concerns, and was just so darned uncool.
But now, I need community. I need to feel like I’m a part of this world. I need to feel a connection to my past.
So I guess I’m a “cultural Lutheran” in the way that some of my friends are “cultural Jews”?
Yes, I think that’s apt.
I used to feel like such a hypocrite going to church with mom on holidays. But the more secular I’ve become, the more I’m starting to realize that I don’t need to feel that way. In fact, I need to jettison those feelings. I have needs as a human being that can be met by the human institution of a church. I can feel joy and sadness when listening to the sermon or to the readings. These are human things, human reactions to human stories and human community.
So I will go to church to honor my ancestors and my community. I can find strength and solace there to replenish and increase the strength and solace I find in my own mind and heart when I meditate.
And that’s a beautiful thing.