I was in church today, it was actually a fairly good service, I could identify with the sermon topic (minus some ill-advised analogies on the pastors part) and it kept my attention for most of the service. I almost feel however like I'm going to church for selfish reasons. I play guitar on the worship team and I find myself thinking a lot "I hate this song" or "I don't like playing with this person" and things like that. Today was no exception. I kept catching myself being grumpy throughout the whole service. What's more is my friend Phil sat beside me during the sermon, which can be a handful. Phil has epilepsy and is developmentally delayed, so there are often (on good days) frequent interruptions for mid-sermon-high-fives or updates on the latest episode of Smallville (of which I have never seen even one) or the upcoming dragon ball Z movie. On the bad days there might be frequent seizure interruptions. To my shame I actually found myself thinking "why today, can't I just have one Sunday to sit with my wife and enjoy the service?" The truth is I have had many Sunday's with Sarah, and I will have many more.
Today's sermon was on faith, and the difference between immature, adolescent and sacrificial faith. One of the points was that immature faith was relying on the magic ability to make God's will do what you want, where as sacrificial faith is relying on God's will to happen in your life, no matter what. The pastor probably worded it better than that. Jesus tells us to have faith like a child, in Matthew 18:3 it says
"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Phil has faith like a child. If I can't take 2 hours out of my week and spend it worshiping God and loving a brother in need without complaining about it, how can I further the Kingdom of God? The truth is I don't think I can. My faith seems pretty immature. I want to know how pastors do it, (especially since I hope to be one some day) every week, working on Sundays (I hate working Sundays!) not sitting with their families, sacrificially loving the body of Christ... come to think about it if it happened that way I'm sure church would be a lot more appealing to people. But that's where we need to be! That's where I need to be! I wish I had that sacrificial faith, that I could be more concerned with what I'm doing to further the Kingdom, and not so much with how the Kingdom can further me. At the same time however, I really feel that one needs to have an outlet where they can be spiritually filled... Maybe that's where small groups come in. Also, morning devotionals, evening devotionals... okay God I get it! It's time to suck it up and be a man. Time to suck it up and be a Christian! In Romans chapter 8 verse 11 it says
"11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you."
It goes on to talk about obligations, and I truly believe I have an obligation, to God, to the Church and to myself. I have to be the church I want to see... oi, well I'll give it a shot.