Now, I went to Church this morning sans BB. The kiddos were all gung-ho, and frankly, I was in that place of grumbling about how i really didn't want to go, I'd rather stay home, blah, blah, blah.
I'm glad I went. It was a great sermon. The worship was wonderful, and I had the chance to fellowship with some friends (BB usually hustles us out the door immediately after service).
However...I noticed 2 things that irked me quite a bit today, and I really had to pray and focus on the reason I was there...
Thing #1 - people who wander in 10 minutes after service starts, holding their cup of Starbuck's coffee, and nonchalantly sauntering down the main aisle to the front row as if nothing is wrong.
OK - I realize that it is better to be a bit late to Church than to not attend at all. I realize that God wants all people to come to His house and worship and be fed. But don't you think it's a bit rude to be late to God's House week after week? And it's not as though they change the start time of service each week...besides...even with the size of our Church, it is still distracting to other worshippers...
Thing #2 - People who show up in clothes that look as though they've fallen into the garbage disposal and then been used to change the oil in a vehicle...or that they are painted onto a body. Or men (regardless of age) who do not remove their hats upon entering a building (any building). Case in point - 2 people, one a young lady (although I use that term loosely) showed up in a skirt that almost looked like a tube-top she'd decided to wear on her bottom half rather than the top half, a tank top that was about 3 sizes too small, and high-heeled ankle boots with very loose and loud chains on them. 2nd person was a young man (probably 25, so not that young) who appeared in a pair of cut-off jeans that were frayed for about 2 inches, and hung a bit past his knees...but also about 4 inches below his waist. He had on a shirt that was a band shirt...and it was rather anti-Christian, I know the band...trust me, so not a "believing" band, and his ball cap at that slight turn to 1 or 11 o'clock, and his Vans slipping and slopping on and off his feet.
Again - I know that God wants all people to come to Him and be saved. But would you show up at Buckingham palace to meet the Queen and her family like that? Would you honestly show up at the White House for a State dinner dressed looking as though you'd just rolled out of bed, or out from under a car, or off a street corner????????? AUUUGGGGHHHH!!!!!!
Alright...you can see my conservative upbringing, and I felt rather guilty dropping my kids off in their classrooms this morning in jeans and shirts...collared on Captain Chaos, and a little ruffly baby-doll a-line type shirt that was an "iron me" shirt on DG...and the jeans were clean, and well-fitting, and they had on dressy shoes...but still...they went to Church in jeans.
Now, maybe that's not such an issue to you all, but for some reason, I can sing worship songs to a band that has an electric guitar and bass, a full drum set, as well as a piano, and the like, I can clap, and cheer, and do motions when the kids sing with us in Family Weekends...but I simply have the most difficult time getting over people being late and inappropriately dressed for something like Church.
I think it goes to my firm belief that each day of our lives, we are supposed to be giving our best for our God...He doesn't really ask for much, in my estimation, after all He's done for us...so to give our best, and to be a temple, a living and holy sacrifice for God...to me, that means I take care of myself - my physical self by being healthy, fit, and not choosing things that are destructive to my body, my mental self by reading, listening to, and watching things that are positive and affirming and uplifting, my spiritual self by reading His Word, praying, worshiping, spending time with Him and other believers on a regular basis. I believe that part of being a living and holy sacrifice for Him is how we appear - clean, neat, in good clothes (clean, tidy, good repair as we can make them).
I met a woman when I was SC one time, who was living working as a waitress, barely making enough to pay rent and buy food, but she always showed up to everything she did (work, Church, picking her kids up from school, errands) in clothes that were clean, pressed, no stains.
I asked her once how she did it, and she answered me that if God gave His Son to save her from eternal separation because of sin, that the least she could do was to always be neat, clean, and in good repair. It was not a matter of her own pride in her self, but her pride to be a Child of God.
And the lateness...would you show up late to your grandma's for Christmas dinner? A doctor's appointment? Your job? Why then, do we not show the same respect for God...we have formal appointments with Him at Church each week, so how is that different than showing up for our job or school each day, or your appointments with doctors and professionals? Is God less because we can't see Him? Do we think that somehow, He doesn't know that we wander in late to Church, more intent on getting that double-shot, latte with skim milk and sugar substitute, along with our pumpkin scone? And that's another thing...when did it become OK to have refreshments during a worship service?
I obviously have strong feelings on this one...but boy-howdy does it rub me the wrong way.
Again - feel free to disagree with me, or call me a snob, or hypocritical, or whatever...but trust me, the only reason you'll see me get up in Church is during the last 3 weeks of a pregnancy when I simply don't have room in my bladder to last 45 minutes between potty trips, or if I'm bleeding, or about to vomit. And I won't be chewing gum or nursing a caffeinated beverage...I'm there to focus on worshiping God and be fed His word and teaching...