According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Front row pew not for chickens

Monday, August 29, 2011

Front row pew not for chickens

I attended church Sunday – not with Sam of course – I was afraid he might bark when the preacher said, “Amen.” I’m pretty sure he would have barked at the sight of a communion wafer. No, I went with Kathleen.

Kathleen and I girded our loins and sat near the front of the church in the third-row pew on the left side. Three women sat in the second-row pew in front of us, which is unusual. Nobody sat in the first six rows of pews on the right side of the church, which is not unusual.

I have noticed that church folks – mainly your pious Protestants - generally avoid sitting near the front rows just like school kids who are afraid they might be called on to step up to the blackboard and solve a math problem or recite a poem or give a speech or something.

Not sitting in the front rows doesn’t seem to be a problem in the Roman Catholic churches I’ve attended. I suspect Muslims, who kneel on prayer rugs, according to pictures I’ve seen, aren’t prone to front-row-phobia either. I don’t know what happens in services in Jewish churches, or Buddhist Temples or in any other house of worship. My knowledge in that area is limited.

Still, I have to wonder about Protestants’ reluctance to sit up close to God. Are they afraid of him? Doubtless, many of them have reason to be afraid, but the whole point of going to church is just that -to get up close, become friends with God and experience his divine forgiveness. Maybe Protestants are just afraid the preacher might have a speech impediment that causes him to spit on them or that he might suddenly call on them to stand up and “bear witness.” Personally, I like to sit up close in church to get as near to God as I can and of course, so I can see and hear better. Okay, I also have to admit that I love sitting in a front-row pew just to make all the people behind me wonder who that impertinent, cheeky devil in the front row might be.

I like to tease that the left side of a church is where the left-wing liberals all sit and the right side is where you find the right-wing radicals. Generally speaking, most churches don’t seem to have a center aisle where moderates can sit. But moderates probably don’t sit up front either.

I try to heed God’s calling on a regular basis because as one of my nieces recently pointed out, among the people God called to his service, Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead. I can be kind of moody and I’m certainly getting older, so I guess I fit right in

I felt called this week to pray for my nephew back East that he be spared from Hurricane Irene. No thanks are necessary nephew. Lord knows you need the help and I’m s-o-o saintly? Damn those Seahawks though, huh? Love ya’ man.

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