Duality

Last weekend, I attended a party in my Compound. It was an end of Ramadan/Idul Fitri Party. I have to say, it was very interesting.
To start with, it was a beautiful community event. We all had snacks and then later a dinner all together. People from all different families were helping serve the food. Everyone was greeting one another. At the end, there was a moment when the community leaders got up and then people came forward, shook their hands, and then joined them. As I watched, the entire community (eventually including me) ended up standing up and shaking each others hands in a huge circular line. It was such a neat bonding experience and the people were so happy that I had joined them. Unfortunately, Joy had to be out of town with Zoe so she missed it.
Something else I found very interesting was the bahavior of the people towards the more religious aspects of the night. A man who had been on Hajj spoke for about an hour. Of what I understood of his speech, most of it was solid moral encouragement, particularly concerning strong family and community relationships. While he spoke though, some people were talking, falling asleep, and texting.
Seeing this made me wonder how I look when I’m at church. Do I look bored, or do I look like I really believe what I’m hearing. Do I pretend at my faith, or do really believe it? I don’t claim to know the full story of that night. Perhaps the man was a boring speaker, or was saying things everyone knew already. But as an outside observer who didn’t understand much, it seemed like people didn’t care.
Would the actions at a normal church show people alive with their faith and who truely believe in what they claim? Is there any reason to wonder then why so many people are turned off by the church? Let’s quit playing church and start having a relationship with our God.

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