So. The funeral/memorial service was yesterday. It was well-attended, and it went as well as can be expected. It was at the church I grew up in (I was *11* when we joined, and remained there until Himself was.....1 or so. So....19+ years of active membership for me.) - I saw lots of semi-familar faces. It was also.....interesting, from a Worship viewpoint.
See, I left the Lutheran church because I was seeing doctrine elevated above Scripture. (Nothing's changed, as far as I can tell). So I was a little hesitant over yesterday - but I went, because it's just what you do, right? (Oh - I met my half-brother for the first time. Yes, I have 3 half-siblings; 2 sisters and a brother. That was...well, it went very well. I am a little upset that we didn't meet before now, but....life and stuff. LONG story, and not really worth airing here.) ANYWAY.....
I was shocked at how easily the service came back to me. Which is a problem - Christ told us that "vain repetitions" are NOT what God wants. And the service? Is ALL repetition. You can go to any Lutheran church (well.....within the same denomination. There are 3 major branches of Lutheranism....anyway, moving on. No time for a history lesson here! :wink:) and the service will be almost identical. Every church, EVERY week. The only differences are which Scripture readings and hymns are used...and even those are on a regular cycle. (Oh, and the tune of the liturgy. There are 3 "settings" in the usual hymnbook - the words are identical, only the tune changes. And that has caused more upsets in the church than I care to recount! :lol: The stories I could tell......)
Even the prayers are printed out at the front of the hymnbooks! :sigh: (The church that I left last had some "real" prayers....I don't think the hymnbook had prayers for rain and fertile cows, but that's what got prayed for there. It's funny, but the prayers were *real* in a way that most church prayers aren't. Although I'm not sure that cow fertility really needs to be prayed for in public....:lol:)
Yesterday's memorial was basically a normal Sunday-morning service, with a couple of hymns added (my brother wanted a sing-sing, basically. So...5 hymns, 1 solo, and a choral anthem). Nice? I guess....but empty. I guess I'm just cynical now - this felt like box-checking to me, a little. (Sorry, but.....it did.) I guess it made everyone else happy, so...that's something (but...how did GOD feel about it? That's my question....)
I mean....it was comfortable, y'know? And it's easy to fall back into the routine....but it didn't feel *right*. I don't even know if I'm explaining it correctly.....I'm not upset with the service - it's what Dad knew - but.....I'm not sure it was what God intended when He told us to worship Him. I guess I'm trying to say that no, I won't be running back to church any time soon. I'll keep Worshipping Him on a one-to-One basis, as spontaneous as ever.
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