CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter… ©
Imagine that we’re in church right now, and I’m in the pulpit. Not many preachers stay in the pulpit anymore. They roam around all over creation. I used to do that. It provides a little more intimacy in communication, and a lot bigger opportunity for the preacher to show off. But I’m old, and I can’t roam around a chancel without falling down, because there are all those steps in odd places at odd angles. So here’s what I’m saying from the pulpit…
“The church is a great place to hide if you don’t want to be yourself.”
That’s what author Marlon James said in an interview with Charlie Rose. James is Jamaican. He says he knew from an early age that he was gay, but that was such a terrible thing to admit in Jamaica that he could not “come out” until he was in America and 44 years old.
He says that he hid in the church but eventually gave up the church because it was all praise and not much thinking.
So here we are this morning, in church, in hiding.
Psychologically, it is not good to hide. It is best to live in the open. Christians can do that, “come out the wilderness,” because we know we are loved by God as we are, for who we are.
I’m not suggesting you come out of hiding right now, though, out of the closet, or out of the dark, or out of the fear, or out of the past, or wherever else you may be hiding, because we humans, as much as we want to be like Jesus, as much as we are glad to accept the sacrifice of Christ on our own behalf, have trouble forgiving the sins of others, when they are revealed when folks come out of hiding.
There may be a time when you can come out of hiding, regardless of what others think about it. That will be good for you psychologically. It is not necessary spiritually, though.
It is good to be in church, even if we are hiding there, for the church is the place where we find out that even if we are in hiding, we are not hidden. We are known. By God. So in a way it makes no difference if we are hiding or not. If we’re out in the open, or if we are hiding in secret, either, we are known by God and loved by God.
Thus ends my sermon for today. Now it’s time to go to church. Go there to hide, or go there to live in the open, but go, and be reminded there that God knows you and loves you.
I tweet as yooper1721.
In some ways, my cancer book is about coming out of hiding. So if you’re interested…
NOW THAT I HAVE CANCER I AM WHOLE: Reflections on Life and Healing for Cancer Patients and Those Who Love Them, is published in two editions by AndrewsMcMeel, in audio by HarperAudio, and in Czech and Japanese translations. It’s incredibly inexpensive at many sites on the web. Naturally I’d rather you bought it, but apparently you can download it for free on Free-Ebooks.net, It says “Download 2048.”