In a show "Judging Amy" one of the characters, Vincent is a writer. A writer with a problem - he is stuck and can't write. This drags on and on until finally his mother tells him bluntly: "Vincent, the art of writing is the art of applying your ass to the chair."
Throughout the year I meet a lot of people who tell me "they are looking for a church." On a good day, I will smile and listen sympathetically. On a bad one I will ask "And how many have you visited so far?" But on both days, I do understand. Its always hard to get to church. And I am not talking about getting out of bed in the morning - that is NOT hard, let's be honest.
I mean the spiritual sloth that drags us down. We have not been there since last Easter. Its been months since we prayed - and I mean really prayed and not just shouted "OMG." Its been forever since we actually thought about who God is and what God expects from us. And make no mistake, God does expect things from us other than us being "happy." And so we feel guilt, and more guilt, and somehow church becomes that great dungeon, where if we show up "the roof will collapse on our head" and the minister will go bonkers.
As a minister, let me be honest. That's not true. I show up every Sunday to church, and the roof is still there - and it does not even tilt in my direction. Every time we think we are the biggest sinner ever - I bet you there is someone better at it either "church shopping" or in church already. So get over yourself! The roof will not collapse, the minister will not get a heart attack, and your skin will not burn when it touches a hymnal or church pew. The only thing that stands in the way between you and church is... well.. you.
Attending Ash Wednesday Service is the best time and best place to begin again. To give church and God another chance. To give yourself another chance. In the words of the hymn - "if you wait till you are better you will never come at all."
So, I invite you all: the seekers, the lookers, the virtual church shoppers, the spiritual but not religious for whom this combo no longer works - come & join us for our Ash Wednesday Service at 7 PM.
To paraphrase: "Get your ashes to church"