The fact that the mainstream churches are hiding their Light under a bushel is the primary reason for their atrophy. The fact that most of our churches are “missing in action” when it comes to the seemingly insuperable pain of living that we bring to them and to their representatives — well, that, I believe, is the main cause of their numerical decline.
Today I want to posit an alternative to this almost willful but in fact mostly unconscious suppression of the Primary (i.e, the Gospel Word) in favor of the secondary (i.e., “issues” of the day) and the tertiary (i.e., endless announcements about meaningless, useless parish activities and functions, to which almost no one really wants to come).
The response to Episode 229, entitled “I Live on a Battlefield”, was astounding! It was as if that cast had pulled down the statue of Dagon, and with it the failed constructions of a generation.
All I was trying to say in that cast was that Mary and I had been “Crawling from the Wreckage” (Dave Edmunds, 1979) of our lives, especially my professional life — crawling on our hands and knees — to “mainstream” churches near us — you name it, almost anywhere — and finding nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, to help us or sustain us. That is, unless we were victims of Hurricane Harvey, in the instance of which most local churches usually do well. (Paging pastoral Josh Condon and others like him!)
In today’s cast, in the aftermath of NOTHING — or almost nothing — proffered to a sufferer like me when he or she comes to church, drawn by pain, I sketch out the profundity of… The Moody Blues. Yes, the partly lame but more often inspired Moody Blues.
The Moodies’ single from 1969 entitled “Question” says almost everything there is to say — about life and living. One can be astonished, thinking about it now, that Justin Hayward composed that song when he was 23 years old. Would that I had met him, and been counseled pastorally by him — I fear he would have run the other way — in… 1969.
Hope this cast speaks to you. Hope this cast bears… a little empathy.