Restoration of the Temple.
A little over a week ago, I decided to give church another try.
My motivation came from a few sources. My happiest memories from childhood involve the community of my church, and I missed that. Say what you will about Christian culture, but in my experience, they always nail the fellowship experience. Also, so much of this blog so far has been based in self; I thought it was time to venture back in, to see what actual Christians are talking about, what Christian pastors are preaching about. And finally, I was just curious.
I did my research. “Gay churches” brought up quite a few results. But then, no, I should go to something more traditional. “Non-denominational churches,” okay, which one is… No, I should go to a gay church, but, no, I should harken back to childhood.
I ended up at a large United Methodist Church in the center of town, one that provides a “traditional” atmosphere (hymns, calls to worship, scripture readings, etc) while still embodies a “welcoming” approach (gays are okay).
I sat in the parking lot for thirty minutes beforehand. I almost drove away.
No, I didn’t want to be there anymore. Seven years without any sort of consistent church going, and I felt right as rain with it all. Why then was this suddenly so important to me? Was it community? Yes, but no. The culture, the blog? Sure, but no.
Yes, it was the curiosity.
So I went in. And I plan to go again. Yes, I have comments, but I don’t want to judge on one trip. Give me a couple, and I’ll get back to you.
Ezekiel closes out with a detailed description of the restoration of God’s temple and people. It harkens back to the pages upon pages of specs that God provided for the building of his first temple, all the way back in the Torah. You remember: Burnt offering this, ten cubits by 15 cubits that, priests walk through this door and you go through that one, you get the drift. When it all comes to a close, God passes one more change to his people. When Jerusalem is returned, he says:
“And the name of the city from that time on will be:
The LORD Is There.”
Ezekiel 48:35b (NIV)
Copy that, God. I hope You are.