I was on a roll, going to church two weeks in a row. First Palm Sunday and then Easter Sunday. And honestly, church is a great place to go if you have an imagination. In fact, I think that’s the entire purpose of church: to use your imagination. They tell stories, for Christ’s sake.
Just think of all the obstacles stacked against trying to stay awake: the stale air, the monotone speakers, the pattern of heavy exhales throughout the pews, and the reciting of recently revised responses that just make everyone angry and frustrated, mostly because nobody ever gets it right. And this actually, sounds more like some of our lives when they get boring because we become boring, somehow. No one ever knows how that always ends up happening. Which is why we need to go to church. So we remember how to use our imagination.
When you do this, you don’t mind the stale air because it’s warm and you can see the sun shining through the stained-glass windows. You don’t mind the monotone speakers because it’s not the narration we care about, it’s the metaphors of the story we’re listening to. That’s where all the real lessons reside, anyway. You also don’t mind the heavy exhales throughout the pews, mostly because you don’t notice them anymore because you’re too busy trying to figure out why He is Risen is using both past and present verbs in the same sentence. You know it’s not grammatically correct but you give the scripture a break because it’s Easter Sunday and that’s the whole point: breaking all the technical rules of human logic. Which is why the revised responses that make all the church-goers angry and frustrated suddenly become meaningless because we’ll never get it right. Instead we realize that rules are meant to confine, not clarify. After all, it’s not about what they say. Crucify him! It’s about rising again.
So use your imagination, in life and in church. Turn reluctant hand-shakes of “Peace Be With Your Spirit” into jubilant high-fives that actually demonstrate your spirit. It’s the only way to be at peace with yourself.