Sometimes in an attempt to escape the life of contrived distractions, a man actually goes to church. And when he gets in church the situation is not really much better, for there is seldom a place for the confrontation he needs; the contrived distractions are there too. And if they are not within himself, they are sometimes in the service; they are in the boring list of announcements, or in the printed order of service. There is never any real Holy, Holy, Holy. We usually manage to evade the moment of mystery. Strange, isn’t it, how we escape the Holy be being more religious? It is strange, isn’t it, how we escape the Holy be being more religious? It is strange, isn’t it, how we evade the great Other, by our constant refusal to be u s? How we will flee the higher by our attempt to preserve the lower; how, by refusing to be ourselves, we miss an encounter with Him. Strange, isn’t it, how in our pitiable little lives we go on obscuring mystery with the obvious? ~~ Carlyle Marney, Beggars in Velvet
Though Marney wrote before the bent toward inclusive language, I find myself in this passage. As a minister, as a Christian, as a woman, I allow everything about worship to be about everything except worship. It is my job. It is the time I am on display. It is the time just before lunch. It is everything but worship.
God forgive me.