Sunday, April 3, 2016

The fakest part of the church service

Ideally, everyone is authentic at church.


The reality is that we all, to an extent, fake church.

We put on false smiles.
We make small talk with people we wouldn't otherwise speak with.
We say that our week's been good even if our insides are aching.

And believe me, this includes, on occasions even more than anyone else present, those in front of the microphone.

But what is the fakest part of the church service?

I think there are a lot of strong candidates...
The responsive liturgy?
When prayers are lead from the front?
During the singing?
Listening to the sermon?
Morning tea/supper after the service?

I think the phoniest part of the church experience is...
The passing of the peace.

How many people are truly extending wishes of God's peace during this time?
How many people would be aware that this is what they're being charged to do - not just say hello?
How many people can you sincerely have a peace-sharing moment with in the two minutes you get during a service and 15 second interaction with each person?
How many people, if they were going to take this seriously, would go to the person they have a fractured relationship with and offer peace?

I suspect that many people miss the powerful opportunity of the peace. I know I usually do.

Instead, we exchange surface level greetings and a moderately warm handshake.

Or, at least, paint on a smile and hope for the time to expire quickly...

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