By their actions you will know them. Matthew 7:16
I have always found church to be a very interesting, and I would venture to say hilarious, place.
Thinking back to my youth, the church was at the centre or more accurately, the centre of community. If not physically, emotionally and spiritually.
There was a sense of reverence and fear that was attached to church. There were times you went to the church and times you stayed away because it was frightening.
There was a sense of ownership that came along with church and a desire to give only the best of self and possession. Everybody understood this — even the intoxicated who would usually pick up position at a window, and as disruptive as they were prior to entering the church yard became as humble and quiet as church mice.
Then things changed.
I can’t say when, but they have.
I have witnessed church transformed into a hiding place for illegal drugs — ohhhhhhhh if the dead could talk. A place where young and old meet for quickies. I have seen a lady perched in a baptismal font while her male companion performed a devilish baptismal ritual — after all, baptism happens at the font.
I have interrupted, and my response to the two males getting jiggy outside the Cathedral of St. Michael and All Angels was “Wow, sorry. Sorry what, get from bout the place doing nastiness!”
I have had the misfortune of seeing females cuss each other at the funeral of a dead man they shared as a lover.
I have only been to two “bashment” funerals where marijuana was smoked, and some very expensive libation were partaken of and poured for the deceased.
I have served at two churches where the desperate and disrespectful have broken in. In the first instance the culprit ate and drank the communion bread and wine. He also had the choice of two cd players and took the one that was not working.
On the other occasion, again communion bread and wine were taken. But so brazen was he that he patrolled Speightstown chucking the bottle of wine to his head. Later, intoxicated, witnesses report that he tried to throw a stick of dynamite into a packed bus with passengers heading to St. Lucy but on both occasions he tried to launch the explosive it refused to leave his hand which was blown from his body shortly after.
And then we heard last week of stolen public address systems. Who does that? It is something to keep noise with. I am thinking if you didn’t have a PA system and suddenly you have a PA system, probably 2, you should not be too hard to find.
The whole thing really speaks though to disrespect and where we are as a society. That reverence we had, not only for church but that reverence in general, is missing and nothing seems sacred anything anymore.
So we will justify premarital and extramarital sex. We will lobby for the legalisations of marijuana and prostitution. Then we talk about pushing the envelope. We need to get back to the basics.
The basics where we can distinguish between right from wrong and not look to put plaster on a life soar or take a Panadol for HIV, but deal with issues and seek sensible solutions.
I am not saying that if people went to church or if they saw church as sacred we would not have any problems.
Instead, if we see ourselves, the life we have been loan and each other as sacred, things will be different.
By our action we are known.