Somebody Pinch Me!!! Please

I’ve thought about this all day and I still can’t get my mind around it. I’m sure it was just a “dream”. I am certain someone will pinch me and I will wake up to find that it was not real at all.
Alice and I have struggled all week with where we would go to church this weekend. We enjoy our Bible study class with Jon, but the worship service leaves us wanting. We enjoy the music, but it is more performance oriented than involvement. So it gets back to the study group, which is important, especially for me right now. Both from a friendship standpoint and a “good teacher” standpoint.

However, this morning’s congregational service was really over the edge. The pastor’s message looked like we were headed toward something great. Unfortunately, it got bogged down in a relentless repeat of point one and never really moved anywhere from there. (That was our service, the others could have been different). Then we moved to a baptism and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Here is where it got weird.

Now let me put things in perspective. This church apparently has close to five thousand members, so it is rather large. Of course, not all attend and certainly not all attend in one service. There are three services.

In the 8:00 a.m. service, there were three hundred or so in attendance, perhaps more. The pastor asked everyone to move toward the center for ease in distributing the “elements”, and then came the surprise. You know in restaurants or hotels how you get those little containers of half & half or cream; those little plastic cups with the foil top that you peal back. Well that is how we received our juice and “bread”. A small self-contained little cup; the first cellophane wrapping covered the cardboard-like wafer; then immediately under that was a foil cover over the container of juice.

Now, my wife and mother didn’t even know the wafer was there, so they missed it entirely. There were no instructions printed on the package or given by the pastor. I discovered it by accident, because I was so careful opening it since I was certain I was going to spill it on my khakis. 🙂

After it was over – I’m thinking, was all this for the sake of efficiency or what?
What’s next, a little pez-like dispenser strategically placed along each pew so every one just pushes a little cross symbol and out comes the little loaf and a squirt of juice? Or better yet, they have a take-home version that they hand out as people leave the service, that way it doesn’t take up any time at all and people can do it in the convenience of their own home.

Heck, we are in a water shortage here in NC so why didn’t they just sprinkle the folks instead of baptize them by immersion, you can save water and after all, it is more convenient and efficient.

Yes, I am a bit sarcastic. Yes, I am a bit disappointed. And yes, I don’t have to attend there.

Perhaps this is the norm for larger churches and I have just been out of circulation for so long, I didn’t realize it has come to this type of convenience packaging. But…. and it’s a big but…. I expect, were our LORD there in person, I suspect He may have been a bit offended.

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