Sunday, December 26, 2010

Just a Simple Day At Church

I held the door for the older people as they walked in, my brother introduced me to the pastor, I walked around and looked at the pictures and signs around the hallways, and sat in the pew with my niece and patiently waited for the message of the day to blanket me. There were about 40 people in the old church the day after Christmas and the mood was very relaxed. The children that were there played with one or two toys that Santa had left them the day earlier and their parents sat with the most extreme focus to keep their heads up after the conclusion of the holidays had come to a close. What a nice, serene atmosphere to sit with my brother and just take in what was offered to the congregation. I hadn't been to church in awhile and it seems whenever I do go, something ridiculous happens to make me that challenges me to rethink my practice of my faith. With a day that seemed so uneventful, today turned out to be no different.
The pastor spoke very informally to the congregation and she informed them that she would be traveling to Virginia for her nephews wedding. She then said this: "He's 31, and we've been saying to him for awhile that 'it's about time!' I mean, come on, he's in his 30's. why has he waited so long?" My brother, sister in law, and I made our typical Nettle eye contact and resisted laughing and already were calculating dozens of jokes that their 34 year old brother sat here in sin cause he's in his mid thirties with no marriage future. I let the embarrassment subside and had all the imaginary conversations with the pastor in my head. Was she making a point? Was I living in sin cause I'm single? Did she think it is unheard of to go into your 30's and not be married in the arms of God? If I was to mention to her of my status, would she be embarrassed or roll her eyes at me?
Well, my answer came at her next announcement about 10 minutes later when she was taking verbal prayers from people to keep in mind. People raised their hands and brought up the struggling family members, troops, and disease that had appeared recently. Then there were some joyful prayers about new babies, reunions, and recovery from surgeries. Then the pastor was reminded that one of the ladies in the choir just received news that her son got engaged at Christmas. The announcement went like this, no lie: "She is so happy because her son announced his engagement to a wonderful girl that he's been dating. Luckily, he hasn't turned 30 yet." What?!??!? The asshole in me leaned over to my brother and asked him to stand up and ask for everyone to pray for his brother because he's 34 and is single. I was worried the pastor would clutch her heart and scream "The horror! Let's call for an exorcism!". I wanted to tell her that Jesus died at 32 because he realized he couldn't get married and it seemed like the only logical decision.
Keep us ridiculous sinners in your prayers, folks.


  1. I'm sure I have a seat reserved amongst the sinners as 33 and divorced. At least I know there will be good company!

  2. Aint no rest for the wicked! You arent alone.

  3. That is hilarious, and I know where you're coming from. Imagine how I felt last week when the pastor asked my dad DURING the sermon how he felt "to have a boy in seminary". I was sitting right next to my brother, just being my old inferior self.

    There is a podcast episode from Mars Hill Church that deals with marriage and men. While it doesn't speak specifically to physical age, it has some great stuff in it. If you're ever interested, it's at

    Also, Mallory informed me that her, Terrance, and several other people go to a church called Summit every Sunday. I went there once by myself back in August when I didn't know anybody, but I'll probably start going with them. Of course, you'd be more than welcome.