Thursday, April 1, 2021

When the Church Is No Longer the Preferred Place to Love One Another: Maundy Thursday

This is not a well-nuanced reflection; instead, they are raw questions in light of a recent article posted by NPR. What is below are my modest musings shared on Facebook and Instagram this past Maundy Thursday and now rest here as a reminder to continue to ponder where and how the Spirit is moving among us...and beyond us...and despite us...

Maybe it’s because people are finding other ways to love one another faithfully and courageously?

Maybe the church has stopped washing feet and chosen the path to perceived greatness instead?
Maybe it’s because we have no longer made the Table an open space?
Maybe it’s because we have lacked courage and willingness to risk for the cause of justice and liberation?
Maybe it’s because we don’t know how to forgive, only how to throw stones?
Maybe it’s because the little children do not feel welcome to come into our worship spaces?
Maybe it’s because people are finding the walls built by religious institutions are less preferable to the welcome found in spaces outside these traditions bent in self-preservation?
Maybe it’s because the history of violence and white supremacy are not only rooted in these institutions but also watered by them in our present era of oppression?
Maybe it’s because the last four years were propped up by those claiming Jesus as Lord when, in reality, mammon, power, and privilege were their deities of preference?
Maybe it’s because a new Pentecost is happening, which doesn’t refer to the digital revolution and zoom Bible studies, but the following of the Spirit into the diaspora and beyond what we consider church?
Maybe it’s having our eyes and ears opened to see and hear what Gcd is doing in the multi-cultural, inter-generational, non-binary, and interfaith witnesses of neighborly love and empathy outside the realms of patriarchal and heteronormative systems draped in faith language.
Maybe it’s because God’s goal is not for filled pews and pulpits and congregations but for a new world completely, where all are welcome, find belonging, have daily bread, are relieved of debts, have their human dignity validated, and wars are no more.
Maybe it’s because America is not the epicenter of these dreams?
Whatever it may be, I actually find hope in this survey. Maybe it’s because the truth is out and just maybe we will lean into the real cries and concerns, even apathies about religion, and all be better for it?
What’s your maybe?