My paradoxical church

I went to church yesterday for the first time in 2 months, and I think I’ve come away even more confused about everything.

I was there because it was my turn to do the reading, and I really enjoyed it. I want to participate in services, to read from the Bible, to share knowledge and views. When it came to communion, there was the sense of sharing something with others, of coming together. This is also what I’m looking for.

And yet, as I sat and watched what was going on around me, I felt an unease. Everyone was just sat in the pews, reading from the order of service when instructed, standing and sitting when instructed, modern songs being played on an organ with a choir made it all surreal. It was like a movie, set in a quiet village where everything seems normal but hides a dark secret where it’s slowly being taken over by aliens and everything feels just a bit off. Even the impromptu clapping to a hymn at the end seemed forced; it didn’t help that the tune reminded me of Russian dancing:

I understand the need for order and structure, and the service gave everything that you would expect. It did seem a little bit of service by numbers, praise can’t be scripted but I’m not sure what else I thought would happen. Church seems to be a bit of a paradox to me at the moment.

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