June 25, 2017: Be YOU!

Posted on : Jun 22nd, 2017 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

When I was a kid, we had to get dressed up to go to church.  In those days we had in our wardrobe what were known as “Sunday clothes.”  When we went to church – even as little kids – it was expected that we would wear our “Sunday best.”  For boys that included dress slacks, a starched white shirt and tie and a suit jacket.  During the summer we were able to shed the suit jacket.

I always thought this was a little crazy because one of the things all of us boys loved to do was to wean ourselves from our parent’s eye then crawl on the floor under the pews.  I don’t know what it is about crawling under the pews, but kids of all ages love it.  Even here on Sundays, you can often find our kids crawling on their stomachs under the pews.  When you are younger, it is great fun.  But, you also get dirty.  And those white starched shirts we had to wear got dirty very quickly.  Which means we all got told by our parents that crawling under the pews was inappropriate behavior in church!

When I became older, I learned that for kids, crawling under the pews is authentic kid behavior.  For adults (AND kids!), wearing a starched white shirt, a tie and jacket to church was not authentic.

I remember in one church where I served, there was a huge discussion about whether teenage boys could wear jeans to church.  Some people thought it was an absolute insult to God for teenage boys to wear jeans.  In their defense, some of the parents chimed in that “those jeans cost more than men’s dress slacks!”  My contribution to the debate was simply, “I’m just thankful they want to come to church.  Most of their peers don’t go to church.  So if allowing them to wear jeans to church keeps them coming, I’m for it; and, in all honesty, I don’t think God cares what we wear to church.”  That answer finally solved the conflict.

Being your authentic self, Being YOU, is central to being a Christian today.  Piety has long since given way to authenticity.  Authenticity is the new norm for Christians.  Just about everyone I know dislikes and/or distrusts nonauthentic Christians.  I think Christianity is much better off with Christians who are authentic about who they are and who God created them to be, rather than pretending to be a pious or perfect Christian.

Sunday I’ll be sharing with you a wonderful story that John Dorhauer, our new General Minister and President of the UCC, told about an encounter he had with a young girl named “Rosie.”  It’s a magnificent story about “Being You” and being a church that embraces everyone – even those who think they would not be welcome because of who they are.

More on Sunday!

Blessings,

Dan

~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

Genesis 1 (a creation story)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light!” and there was light.

And God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.  And so it was.

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.”  And it was so. God called the dry land “earth” and the waters, “seas.”

 

And God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit”.  And God saw that it was good.

And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly about the earth.  And so God created them.

And God said “Let the earth bring forth living creatures.”  And it was so.

Then God said, “Let us make humanity in our image, after our likeness.”  So God created humanity in God’s image.  And God blessed them. 

 

And God saw everything that God had made, and behold it was VERY GOOD.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the hosts of them.  And on the seventh day God rested.  So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work which God had done in creation.

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