And the Word became flesh and lived among us. – John 1:14 (NRSV)
A woman whose church is almost spiritually and materially dead told me they couldn’t use the small chapel for dance, unless it was sacred dance. This false binary between sacred and secular causes the real miracle of Jesus—the man/God—to be disrespected. When that happens, churches die.
Why does something as important as the sacred get one day a week, and Monday become the day we cheat or lie? Is God really a part time job? Is flesh a sacrilege? Can pleasure and flesh also be sacred?
A thrift store sold all its books for a dollar but had a sign on a pile of Bibles and old devotionals that said, “Religious Books Free.” They didn’t want the tawdry money to invade the holy kind? Or vice versa? Have you ever tried to run a church without an offering or a tithe or an infrastructure?
I would think it more spiritual, if not religious, to argue that the religious books should have been sold for a high price and the other books given away free.
God is not small. God is large. Some of us like to major in God, not minor in God.
A pastor in a Massachusetts town took her puppy to church and people loved it so much they made her keep bringing the dog to church. The dog worships in front of the pulpit. Yes, in puppyhood once it had an accident and pooped on the altar. The people understood.
Fleshy Spirit God, so many have pooped on the altar by an improper understanding of you. These good Massachusetts people got the point. May we as well. Amen.
Donna Schaper is Pastor at the Orient Congregational Church on the far end of Long Island, New York. Her newest book is Remove the Pews: Spiritual Possibilities for Sacred Spaces, from The Pilgrim Press.