In the bustle of the Christmas season, my husband and I received several invites for Christmas parties and get togethers. We turned down all but one and attended on Saturday evening. It was filled with much “merriment” and we did not return home until almost 1:00 a.m. After winding down, we did not fall asleep until after 2. We decided to skip church the next morning and get some needed sleep.
This is nothing new. I must confess; I use any and every possible excuse to sleep in on Sunday. Many of our excuses are completely valid. In the past month, both my husband and I have been sick, and totally exhausted. My hectic schedule as of late has left me with little to offer on the weekend and I usually want nothing more than to hole away at home.
But I must confess again; often I just want to skip church because I really don’t have much desire to be there. I know that more times than not, I will stand there lost in the crowd, wishing desperately that the music will speak to me while it just becomes nothing more than noise. It’s easier to avoid it than attempt to deal with the problem.
Before anyone tries to tell me how important it is to be a part of the body of Christ, let me clarify that I have not completely walked away. I attend a Friday night service at my church. I fellowship and connect with the body of Christ. This service has become more like church to me than typical Sunday morning services. A lot of Sunday mornings, I really don’t feel the need for church, because I’ve already had my church for the week.
Yet, I still feel that I’m running away from my worship issues rather than facing them head on. It’s easier to turn the alarm off on Sunday morning and roll over than walk into church, asking God to meet me there and help me through this mess. Most mornings I wake up with absolutely no desire to go.
Except yesterday morning. I knew we weren’t, but I woke up with a strong desire to go to church. I realized why. Because it is Advent and I miss all the elements of the Advent service. I miss the Advent candle and the carols and the Christmas story read from Matthew and Luke and holly hung throughout the church.
I told my husband that I would like to go to church next week. A few years ago, we decided to attend a different church the week before Christmas; an older church downtown with a huge pipe organ. We’re usually not big organ fans, but there is something about hearing the classic Christmas carols done on organ that just feels more Christmassy. I told my husband that I would like to do that again this year.
It was relieving to wake up with that empty feeling inside me, like something was missing. Sometimes I just feel like a complacent mess, because I can feel nothing more than apathy. Something is missing, and I am glad that I am feeling that.