Sunday, December 26, 2010

going to church in a rotten mood

This past Friday, when I was on my way to church for the Christmas Eve service (, it might not have been right for me to go. After all, one shouldn't go to church in a rotten mood, but rather with a peaceful heart.

I left home upset 'cause I couldn't find my winter cap. Then half a block later, an idiot almost ran me over while I was crossing the street with the proper right of way (the little "walking man" sign). I wanted to run after that idiot who'd to stop at the next red light, but I didn't. When I cooled off a bit, I wondered if such a stupidly reckless individual could be carrying a gun or other type of weapon. Maybe I just saved my hide by acting as the better man this time around.

About twenty minutes later, I felt much calmer yet thinking about the anger I had in me not even half an hour before. I might simply be another vulgar hypocrite during Christmas in it all.

Anyway, the Christmas Eve (24th) service that I've gone to since going to FAPC isn't the family service at 4pm or the late one at 10pm -- but rather at 7:30pm. Last year I volunteered to carry a candle on two of three Candle Light Services. This year I just helped with the sixteen-track Mackie sound console (a little something that I've been doing for the past month or so to make myself useful, have fun in church, but not to show off).

To my surprise, for someone who'd been away from church for more than a decade, I seem to enjoy Christmas services at FAPC a lot. I don't think that the "wrapped in swaddling clothes like a burrito" jokes from Revered Scott Black Johnston are the reason why, but they might help. It may simply be the freedom to smile and laugh within a strict need for faith, simply knowing when to laugh and when to seriously pray.

By the way, Christmas Eve services are quite an interesting social experiment as people enter and exit the church building continuously before and sporadically during the service. Some people enter and leave right away when realizing that they're in the wrong church -- Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian), Saint Thomas (Anglican) and Saint Patrick's Cathedral (Catholic) within a mere three-block walk. At the same time, tourists just want to see what the building looks like from the inside. Perhaps some might even feel intimidated by the sheer size of these three churches in such a short distance. Nonetheless the main floor of the sanctuary in FAPC was at full capacity and the balcony had to be opened -- a full house on all three services.