To please my 87-year -old church-going mother, I went to church with her this morning. She’s Methodist. I was raised Catholic, something she had to do….she upon marrying her Catholic husband, she had to sign a piece of paper m relinquishing the religious indoctrination of her three daughters in an era that was pre-Vatican 2. We would be raised Catholic, but Catholic-light. We’d go to mass every Sunday, but we were a bit cavalier about it. Daddy wasn’t that devout and mother poo-pood Catholic dogma. So, in order to try to introduce a little Jesus into my life as opposed to learning about growing up and marrying a nice Catholic boy and bringing into the world more Catholics, I’d go to all these Methodist and Presbyterian events. I get confused sometimes and boy, would these punchy protestants give me hell if I’d innocently forget where I was and instinctively cross myself after one of their prayers.
I haven’t been to Mass in I don’t know how long, but recent enough to still see the differences. There were still no calisthenics…..no kneeling, standing, sitting. At this service, we sat mostly and sang hymns that I’d heard played at the funerals of Protestant relatives. I didn’t hear any kind of homily, sermon…..just songs. As in song, after song that I didn’t know.
Jesus was mentioned in said , but they all struck me as odd. It was if the ubiquitous “they” were really trying hammer home ( pun intended) Jesus’ death and how God sacrificed ‘his son’ for our sins. I listened to discordant lyrics about glorifying dying, blood, slow painful deaths on old rugged crosses, more dying and being forsaken by Daddy one minute, then asking that HE forgive them (the Roman soldiers, I suppose) for not knowing what they’re doing.
So, here’s my question: was Jesus in on all this or not?
Isn’t it odd that an unseen force that spoke to Abraham and Moses and smited with alarming frequency and also who gave Noah a crash course in animal husbandry, sacrificed his “human” son who was just a regular Yossef, perusing the towns and villages of Zion while performing miracles. Yet the Son died, knowing he would die, knowing one of his disciples would betray him due and he also knew that for a lack of a better word, he’d reanimate after three days and no one would ever see him again except in every Catholic church, on the occasional piece of toast…in an oil spill at a machine shop or in a tree or tortilla.
Believers say there’s evidence of Jesus’ existence in every one, in everything. Ok. That’s Christianity, but what’s with the Trinity? The Father, Son and The Holy Ghost? It’s almost like Christianity is this convoluted Rube Goldberg -like contraption. One begat one, but you can’t get into Heaven without believing in the other and the Holy Ghost or Spirit which seemingly gets little to no ink in Christianity, is what—–the glue that holds this trifecta together???
My mother is very Methodist. It’s like she’s placed herself in a safe little Methodist bubble as if nothing can happen to her as long as she’s in the company or dealing with other Methodists—-from car dealers, attorneys, CPA’s, to boutique owners. She wisely allows for a Jewish allowance when it comes to doctors and health specialists.
Meanwhile, back at the Methodist sing a long, these people seemed so content to belt these terribly gory songs. I just shook my head and listened to songs about happy lepers and who were blind but could see after being such a wretch, but now can noe see.
I don’t know what I believe. It’s not a being, an entity, but it seems to be more like force–a very, very strong energy. It smarter than me, bigger than me, knows me well enough to have a response to every question. I pray for a handsome husband and a million bucks. He’s God, not a miracle worker, but it is indeed a higher power? I feel certain that I’ve felt evidence of it. Or maybe luck is God. And coincidence is God. Failure, success, heartache, fleeting joy, physical pain, neurosis, staph infections, katydids and eyelashes are all God.
But then there’s Jesus. And his governance and force in your life, versus blaming him because for bad things because of free will. Are Calvin and pre-determination are wrong.? Or are our Presbyterian friends right and free will simply can’t be.
My father is a rather hostile born againer. . He’s born again and has involved himself in the Pentecostal mindset. I can’t even address that entire issue properly mainly because the question mark over head is so large my large it casts the shadow over my iPad. So enough on that.
God came easy to me. Jesus didn’t….not even as a kid. Too much magic. It didn’t fly with the Catholic version which came with guilt nor did the Methodist version which was frequently accompanied by a covered dish casserole. .
I believe in something, but what? And if I believe in something, what does make me? Does it even have a name? I know it’s not an alien, or a cloud formation. The Pope and I aren’t close, I think I’d scare a rabbi and an Imam would do run to the arms of the nearest Jew. Buddhists. Nah, arthritic knee. Too much climbing. Wiccans? Not enough appreciation for trees.
I don’t know.
More to be examined, debated, deliberated later. Thanks for any input. And please no proselytizing or judgy name calling. Have an opinion or have none at all, but please be respectful. You wouldn’t want to be smited, would you?
I have an app for it.