Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A New Hope.. wait, that's Star Wars, not Jesus

I didn't quite intend to start a hope blog the week before advent started, but here we are. Hope is one of the themes of advent for many reasons, but no small part of it is the hope that Jesus would bring peace, a new reign of love. Yeah, we screwed that up but good, didn't we? :) The man spoke of love, we nailed him to a couple of boards and put him on display. He told us to go forth and spread the word, and we killed people who didn't believe the way we told them to. He told us to love our neighbours, and we used him as justification to hate them because they were gay. Or Muslim. Um, oops?

But you know, it's never too late. There is new hope ever single day. Every day, I can be a better person than I was yesterday. Every day I can say no to greed, to judgement, to hatred, to fear, and just embrace love. And I love that. I love getting a new start. Oh sure, there's the pesky having to take responsibility for what I did yesterday, but approach that with love and wow.

And you don't have to believe in Jesus to do any of this. As one of my friends, an atheist, says, "Be good. For goodness' sake". Yeah. Just be good because. Because. Because it feels good. That's cool. I'm not going to say there's no hope for you if you're not a believer. Who the hell am I to say that? Nuh uh.

My little church is going through a very rough patch right now. We have no money. Something has to change.  And that's really hard for a lot of people. But you know, the church was founded on the idea of change and resurrection, so I think we'll survive. And if we don't, well, there are other churches. They're changing too. The christian church will survive. That much I am sure of. I hope that it changes. Because right now, we're failing the people. The job of the church is to serve the community, and we're not doing that. We're serving pretty much only the community members who actually show up on Sunday mornings. Too many churches are worried about how to get asses into pews (and onto committees), and not looking at the bigger picture, which is that the needs of the communities have changed, and the churches haven't. People don't need social clubs with a bit of service and worship thrown in. I don't know exactly what we need, but it isn't that.

I have a bit of a vision of what a church could look like in the future. A coffee shop with meeting rooms. A place where people could come in, get a cup of coffee (assuming the coffee bean isn't extinct by then!) and chat with the people around them. There might be a room with a clothing exchange, a computer exchange/repair shop, and a little chapel for those who'd like to sit and have some place quiet to just be with themselves or God. Maybe a social worker and a counsellor for those who might have needs of that sort. A community centre for all. Not just the downtrodden and needy. A nifty place where anyone might feel comfortable to grab a cuppa joe and chat with whomever is there.

I think Jesus would approve. And I'm pretty sure the rest of the gods and prophets would be okay with it too. :)

High hopes? I hope so.

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