THE GRAY MASS:
Years ago I read a book in which they gave an example of a “religious” woman who showed up to church services every week like a gray mass HUDDLED IN THE CORNER IN A BACK PEW. She was reverent and appeared to be constantly in prayer. … But no one knew her. She seemed oblivious to her surroundings. She was certainly shutting out the world. … Then, near the front row, was someone dressed in a bright red dress, with shoes to match, singing her heart out in worship, dancing in front of her pew (they didn’t mention running the aisles in this book). She, too, had a connection to God, however, she was participating with others and sharing the Gospel with others outside of the church services. She seemed so much happier than the “gray mass”. I wonder what would have happened had the two met and shared their love of God.
I have spent most of my life in mainline Christian churches where I participated in the service music, and, in one church, taking my turn as platform assistant. Although I was expected, by some, to stay in the margins, as a pew-warmer, where the hesitant ones were not confronted with dealing directly with a blind person, I chose full participation in our services.
I often felt like we were involved in rituals and that God was up there somewhere and, regarded, as the song put it, “from a distance.” I had no idea what I was missing. I thought everything was okay between God and me. Although I believed, on some remote level, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, I mostly thought of Him as a distant teacher. I wonder how many people reading this blog have felt that same way.
Now that I am in an apostolic church setting, things are quite different. Jesus is real to me; He is present within and around me; He will never leave me and I will not leave Him; He guides me in my everyday life; when I am praying, it is to Someone right here, not to someone way off beyond the clouds.
I used to sing the old hymns, often in harmony, and I certainly enjoyed that. However, now we “make a joyful noise,” and experience the nearness of the Holy Ghost. We want revival! We want to tell everyone about Jesus! I still tend to shy away from doing this outside of church, but our participation in our services encourage it.
So, as I would want to put it “there’s more than one way to …” connect with God. One way is not necessarily better than another, however, I am glad I am where I am now. I wish the same for you. If your church services, (if you even attend) are boring, come and join us! Jesus is in our midst! … In Jesus’ name.