The service opened with a short message about how awesome our God is cause He knows the number of hairs on our heads. Number of hairs x number of people = really big number = awesomeness factor.
BUT, the Bible was written in languages that rely on hyperbole, and as such, should not be taken literally. So this is like having a passage of scripture that includes the words "at the drop of a hat" and then making a big deal about the hat. I would argue that the hairs on the head bit is a poetic device saying that God knows us intimately.
I really don't have an opinion on whether He is a hair-counter or not. I think that focusing on the hair-counting is missing the message: that God knows us and attends to the details of our lives. Somehow that message didn't get included in the math and the bald-jokes and the awesomeness of it all.
"I feel like a fraud."
Whilst everyone is standing and singing songs that are mostly about feelings am I the only one whose only feeling is that of being a fraud as I stand there mouthing the words about feelings?
I have beliefs and convictions; the whole feeling thing mystifies me. In fact, the only feelings I was having was that of peevishness about the aforementioned hairy awesomeness and the requisite guilt associated with feeling peevish in church.
Today was missionary day, where a missionary stands up and tells us about his life. I have missionary-allergies, having seen too many of them stay at my Mom's house and basically milk her for goodies. I have developed a very robust cynicism. So this guy stands up and I jot down, "What exactly do missionaries DO all day?"
To my delight and dismay, he proceeds to tell us: He sits in coffee shops and drinks coffee with people. Missionaries who run medical clinics and organize soup lines and so forth will get my donations. They are feeding the poor and housing the sick in the name of the Lord and it's likely that for the recipients, these missionaries' good deeds are the only Bible they will ever see.
But I just don't see the Biblical mandate for socializing -- excuse me, I'm supposed to call it 'investing in relationships' -- and even if there is a mandate, this guy can get a job and work shoulder-to-shoulder with other guys and invest in relationships that way. I am not donating to support him (and his wife and 3 kids and their tutor) in idleness.
That's what missionary guy looked like.
I heard the little 'new mail' tone from my iTouch. Probably a good idea to switch the router off during the service. I'm just saying . . .
So, do you see why we don't often go to church? I walk in all confident that God loves me and Christ died to save me and that the details of my life are known to God and that He cares for me. And I walk out feeling like I had better keep my mouth shut.
On the bright side, I did get the outline done for a new children's book project I am working on.