I woke up this morning at 7:30. My body was really confused for a while, as to why i was up after such a long week. But as i walked to the catholic church down the road, with Kelcie and Justin, i got excited. For no other reason then i was going on a mini adventure to see Jesus from another perspective. And i hadn’t done it like this in years. Last time i set foot in a catholic mass was in the middle of Singapore at lunch time. I sat up the back so i saw nothing except other peoples backs, and before that was mid 2000’s with my friend Luke. We didn’t know what to think, so i took notes until a women behind me commented about how i shouldn’t take notes on church.
This time was different. I was with a friend who knew what was going on (Kelcie) I was a with a friend who was as curious as me (Justin) and i was in my own locality. (5 houses away from our house). We walked to the door and Kelcie guided us in putting holy water on ourselves in the cross shape thing. I don’t know why, but part of me feels like – if church is a special and unified time for holy lovers to hang out together, why not sprinkle special water, why not mark ourselves as who we are.
We gathered the cheat sheets, and took our spot near the front, behind a beautiful asian family and across the room from an amazing choir, peopled mainly by lovely tongan women. Througout the service i would ask Kelcie questions like “why is that, whats that thing?” and she would patiently describe in nice and simple terms what the things were – or give me the same confused look as Justin had. As if to say “I have no clue, but it must have a good reason”. As was the theme of the day. As a young, aggressively anti the establishment 21 year old – catholicism was an out of date, illogical, controlling super-cult. Peopled by only the gullible and old people who were too lazy to find God in “real life”.
But God is slowly teaching me more about humanity. I currently read mainly from an NRSV catholic bible (book of Judith included) and as i sat there i saw more then i’ve ever seen into the reason for denomination. I want to illuminate communion a little bit. As a protestant boy, communion is that time you drink grape fruit juice in little cups, and eat cardboard “bread” in silence… not really knowing what i’m supposed to be thinking about. We read the same passages every week that speak of a meal, but we don’t seem to twig with that part. Communion is occasionally important but….
Sitting next to Kelcie and being told i wasn’t allowed communion because i hadn’t taken first communion, made me confused and then strangely curious. So reading up on it even more it makes soo much sense. In one of the weirdest and strangely loving ways ever. Catholics believe that at communion, the bread and the wine become the body and blood of christ. and if that is the case then you’d want to make sure that people taking the real blood and body of christ, new what they were doing. In protestant circles, anyone can drink grape juice and cardboard bread. Why wouldn’t they? So we were all good with strangers and non-christians taking communion with us.
Then some of the other questions i was asking began making sense. Why is there a golden tabernacle? Because if its Christ’s blood – we should honour him with gold. Why is there a robed kid walking around with a giant gold cross? Why does the priest keep kneeling? Why are we kneeling? If God is present, not only within us, but in bodily form that we are consuming… If we are to disciple young people, why not get them involved in church early. Kneeling is a sign of humility. I feel like we should kneel more sometimes you know?
So as we sat there, a billion things were going through my head. And then the man up the front wearing an amazing blue robe said something incredible. “Church is supposed to be fun”
He then went on to talk about how we have these presuppositions that church is supposed to be serious and focused, so we keep our kids controlled. But what if we made church child-proof. He then pointed out that the building we were in was completely child-proofed except the four candles. So children should be free to just run around.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
Imagine a community that lets children run around and be children. Imagine a community of adults running around with the children having fun.
I heard someone say this week that children have fully developed spirits. that God can speak to children just as clearly, if not more clear then adults. Imagine a community that teaches children to hear and obey God more then humans. The get their identity and security directly from God.
A generation would be raised up that would take no crap from society or the enemies plans.
Victory and liberation would be celebrated in the streets.
But where does it start?
Making church fun.
There are reasons and amazingly beautiful explanations for church traditions. But if traditions get in the way of children. If candles, or bible studies, or behavioural “standards” get in the way of inheriting the kingdom of God – should we not get rid of them?
(watch this with a learning heart – get curious)
(this guy is soo fun)