Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday in Conifer...Ritter style

Today is Sunday in Conifer, Colorado.  At our house, we go to church on Sunday.  Not exactly every Sunday but I would say that we do go most Sundays.  Today, is the 3rd Sunday of Advent and it was the Christmas program.  The kids in the congregation acted out the Christmas story.  It was a quick play in terms of these things and the kids were extra cute.  I sat with my husband and we glanced at each other during the play as if to say..."our kids were young once too."  My oldest son was the reader today as well so we really needed to be at church.  He did a great job reading and what he read got me thinking about our church, my faith and what it means to me to be a Christian person.

I am a Christian.  My family in Florida and New York say..."Oh, that Terry, she's very religious."  I always laugh at that statement.  But, honestly, I am a seeker for sure.  I was raised in NY in a catholic house.  I went to St. Eugene's in Yonkers until they hired a Jewish teacher when I was in 5th grade and my mother freaked.  I then went to PS 32, needed to "make" my confirmation as soon as possible and then only went to church on holidays.  But...I always felt something outside myself.  Not that I always followed what it lead me to, and as a matter of fact...I did not.  But I always knew there was someone or something with me.

I lived through my college days, graduated from nursing school and got a job.  I did not step foot in a church, utter a prayer and if asked I would even tell people that I didn't believe in God.  Yep...I did.  Anyway, after I got married and had the Queen...I heard that "something", that voice calling me back.  We answered that call on Christmas eve 1992 at the childrens service at Evergreen Lutheran church.  It was a crazy night with all kinds of kids and babies and families at this service welcoming the the birth of a savior.  To be honest, I don't remember a thing about what the Pastor said that night.  I'm sure he said all the things he has said year after year on Christmas eve.  But that night, all I heard was that spirit whispering, "Welcome home".

We still go to that church on Sunday.  My boys were baptized on Christmas eve there in 1994 and 1996.  The Queen and her brother affirmed their baptism (confirmation) on that same altar.  We have celebrated at that church and and grieved at that church asking God "why".  We go on Sundays, not because we are sure of things but because we are faithful.  For me, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen...or for hope. 

To the last question on my mind...what does it mean for me to be or to live as a Christian person?  I think about that alot because being called a "christian" can be a negative thing.  I have even noticed that some "christians" don't seem very loving at all.  And really, isn't love the whole point?  If you are someone who thinks like Jesus or tries to...the message is love.  Love one another, love your neighbor, do unto others as I have done unto you...simple to interpret.  It may be simple to interpret but it is hard to do.  Ask my husband...is Terry loving all the time?  I bet, if he was honest, the answer would be no.  I admit, I am not.  But, I do try and some days are better than others.  I want my actions to be loving along with my words.   As St Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the gospel always, if necessary use words".   That's the kind of "Christian" I want to be.

I love you all, enjoy your Sunday.
We'll tawk soon,


idriveskj said...

Amen, sister! Merry Christmas!

Ms. Moon said...

Because you moved away before you became a practicing church-goer again, it is still somehow hard for me to get my head around the idea of you going to church, being a Christian. As you know, I am not a believer in a doctrine but as you also know, those things you mention- I believe in them with all of my heart and try to practice them daily. Not because I want to go to heaven but because I want to make as much heaven right here on earth as I can.
This makes sense to me. But I understand how comforting the church can be and I am so glad you have found that place for yourself and your family.
I love you.

Moxie Girl said...

I no longer feel anything positive from attending church. Despite that, my faith has deepened substantially over the past few years. I pray at least twice a day, feel more connected to God than I ever have before, but feel no need to attend church where it all seems less than what I experience individually, the people feel judgemental and the sermons redundant. Yes, I am a Christian...but more than that I am a child of God.

Moxie Girl said...

My faith has deepened substantially over the past few years. I pray at least twice a day. I feel a deeper connection to God than I ever have before. I am no longer a seeker...I AM. And, saying all of this, I no longer feel anything spirtual by attending church. I feel church is now merely an obstacle to my attaining my highest spirituality...an obligation that I reluctantly fulfill while my son is in confirmation. Organized religion now feels too limiting for the enormous passion I feel as a child of God. The sermons are redundant. The people too judgmental and conservative. The atmosphere too stifling. So, although I do identify with being a Christian, I identify more as a part of the Divine.

Terry Joy said...

Ms Moon...as I told you before...you are the one who taught me to love.

Moxie...I am thrilled for you..If being a part of a church takes you away from the divine...get out! I guess I think it all has to do with how we choose to live our lives...not really anything else. Thanks for the comment..we still need to go out and have that drink.