40 Blogs of Lent – Day 34
Church is weird
What is church – Day 3
Often the largest building in the area, pointing hundreds of feet into the sky yet only a single story building. Full of fantastic art in stained glass with ornaments covered in gold built to celebrate someone who had no place to lay his head. Does this sound weird?
Yes churches are weird. But that is not the subject of this blog, I’,m actually interested in the weird things we do in churches.
I’ll start with our weird music:
The organ plays the melody that the choirboys sing. Where else do you hear that? Occasionally this is done in all forms of music, but as an effect, from the classical concert hall to the rock concert the singer has their own line not being played by the accompanying musicians. The top line of the choir usually has its own line too. That is unless there is a musical reason. Christians do different music to everyone else. Because we are weird.
Here in Huddersfield we have a Contemporary Music Festival. True to form Christians have thing they call Contemporary Music, or Christian Contemporary Music, which has nothing in common with Contemporary music apart from the name. Christian Contemporary Music is a sort of soft rock music. Contemporary is a misnomer too, as it more resembles the music of the 1970s and 1980s than it does 21st Century music.
So that is weirdish. What makes it more weird is that some people will sing with their hands in the air. Where did that come from, it is unlike anything else in our culture.
We should be weird
No matter what music thus is weird. People do not sing together much, maybe Happy Birthday, in today’s society singing together is weird. Or sitting to hear a sermon, we had lectures in education and occasional seminars, but it is still weird. We talk about being relevant but forget that God does not change, the Gospel message does not change, we may change the way we present the message to a changing society, but the message remains the same, and is as weird as it ever was because it has always been at odds with the society in which it is set.
Going to church is not like going to a sports match or supermarket. We go to church to make contact with God – invisible, intangible, mysterious, beyond our understanding. Ordinary it is not. We don’t do ordinary. God is supernatural, supernatural is the original meaning of Weird. We are weird and proud of it. If you want ordinary go to the supermarket.
I did not post this above as it is not entirely relevant, but it is funny.