Tuesday, June 05, 2012

church = kissing: relationship(s) with God, exposited

This is my first 'unofficial' post in a series in which I'm trying to analyze a supernatural relationship through a natural perspective.  I'm not quite sure how this analogy came about, but I'm about to go in on it! [For my ramblings on not-so-holy kissing, see here. #shamelessplug]

Sooo yeah... This thought kinda randomly occurred to me the other day when I was thinking about.... kissing.  Yes--this saved, sanctified, Holy Ghost-filled, water-baptized woman thinks about kissing.  But before you start throwing shade my way, I haven't even gotten close to any lips for some years now (you read that correctly: YEARS).  So imagine even my surprise when associations began to form in my mind between locking lips and the Lord's house.  

I think it's safe to say that kissing is expected in a romantic relationship; it can also play a big role in other relationships, as well (i.e. parent-child). *Disclaimer* This assumption excludes 'courtships' in which the couple to be married chooses to abstain from all forms of physical affection until their wedding day.  But for the rest of us who aren't currently in or choose not to be in a "kiss-less courtship" when the time comes--I'm just keepin' it 100!--there is that unspoken presumption that, if nothing else, a couple will kiss each other in various ways to affirm their feelings for each other.  However, NOT kissing doesn't nullify a relationship but it is one of the best ways to foster endearment between people as they grow closer to each other.  In my humble estimation, going to church should be viewed the same way. How? I'm so glad you asked! *impish grin*

Kissing comes in various flavors and degrees of intensity: a quick peck on the cheek or forehead, a gentle pucker on the lips, and then, well... thank God for French ingenuity is all I'll say. ;o)  We can think of denominations of churches, or even "personalities" of congregations in similar fashion--each is unique in its expression but represents the same basic activity.

A kiss reaffirms the 'known' within a relationship.  Done regularly enough, it becomes a form of communication in which one person expresses familiarity, appreciation and good ol' love to the other.  Better yet, it can confirm the unknown; and by that, I'm referring to the classic first kiss; romantically speaking, of course.  For the most part, you don't know when, where or how it will happen, but you await in eager anticipation that it will. (or was that just me? *shrugs*)  The first kiss seals the deal and everything becomes official in some way because--assuming it was welcomed by both parties--what existed in the confines of your mind has taken on a tangible form.  

Now to bring things back around to church, the experience is a reaffirmation of your relationship with Jesus.  You've been spending time with Him on your own by reading the Bible and praying, so hearing the sermons and participating in praise and worship simply builds upon the foundation that you began laying for yourself.  If you've been going to church regularly for a while, it may become too comfortable because you feel that you know what to expect but this is where the 'first kiss' phenomenon kicks in.  Something in the middle of your church routine happens that catches you off-guard in a happy-smiley-fuzzy-bubbly-kinda way... A word from the pastor changes your entire perspective on a matter... The choir sings a song that you've heard a thousand times before in such a way that stirs your soul... Someone in the congregation shares a testimony that moves you to tears because you had no idea what they were going through as they sat in your row week after week.  Unlike with another person, 'first kisses' of the spiritual kind can/will happen many times over--they just feel new each time.

So what about that part when I said earlier that "NOT kissing doesn't nullify a relationship"?  I know you're already looking up that Scripture talking about "forsake not the assembling of the saints"; well, I got sumthin' for ya:

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another...

And if you wanna get really sanctified, we can take this back to the 10 Commandments and infer that God included a church-going clause when He said to the Israelites remember the Sabbath day and keep it holyReading both Scriptures word-for-word doesn't say anything specifically sinful about NOT going to church.  So that settles it--I can be a legit Christian without going to church, right?  "Church is just a religious institution created to suck up tithes/offerings and offer false hope to the masses!" or "My home is the church, my sofa is the pew, my TV is the pulpit, and [insert televangelist/mega-church pastor's name here] is my pastor."  Umm, naw... I didn't say that either.

One thing I will say is that--back to my original thesis--church is like kissing: you feel more in tune with your significant other the more you do it.  Along those same lines, sometimes you may do it [kissing, going to church, or both (hopefully not kissing IN church, tho!)] just because you love that special someone and not because you necessarily want to at that particular time.  But guess what: being in a relationship means that it's not all about you!!  This is especially true when you add an omnipotent, omniscient, omni-everything being to the mix.  But the good news is that He wants this relationship even more than you do. :o)  So close your eyes, pucker up, and make it hot!  ...oh yeah, and then go to church!

be blessed,

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