Sunday, January 18, 2015

Grove Avenue Baptist Vs. Bedside Baptist

This Sunday morning features low skies, steady rain and 41 degrees. The pews of Bedside Baptist are destined to be packed on a Lord's day like this. I must make a decision soon. The clock is ticking.

"Do not forsake the assembly," the old prophets said. A more modern version of this truth would be the adage that one raindrop can prevent a thousand Baptists from attending church. My Dad used to say that the crowd on bad weather Sundays amounted to the mysterious "faithful few." I'm sure there is some truth to that, but I always thought as a kid that the people who showed up literally every single time the church doors were opened were a little weird. I always felt like..."Dude, get a life!" It was like they were keeping score somehow and wanted to win eternity's perfect attendance award. Such were the sacrilegious thoughts that would ramble through a preacher's kids 12 year old brain as he stared out the church windows in a blinding snow storm. Whenever I would ask Dad about my ideas he would launch into a theology-heavy lecture about grace vs. works when all I wanted to do was go sledding.

But now, I am an adult, so I get to make my own church attendance decisions. Today, I really would rather stay here in my pajamas. I have no burning desire to go sit for an hour in a pew. There's all the standing and sitting, all of the group dynamics putting terrible pressure on you to sit and stand at the "correct" times, whether or not you are so moved to do either. There's the music, the interview( a new addition to our weird liturgy), and then the sermon. Today there will be a baptism and I think a baby dedication.

I suppose if the parents of a new born can drag themselves out of the rack and get to church, then I better get my lazy backside in a pew. Besides, seeing a baptism is about the very best thing that ever happens at my church. It never fails to inspire. It's evidence that somewhere, somehow, somebody is doing something right.