Prior to this morning, when I dragged my ass out of bed and hurried out the door at 10:20, I can't remember the last time I actually made it to church. There's been far too many weeks of me waking up at noon, or sometimes on time and simply getting caught in some petty excuse to not get out the door. Far too many, and too much time beating myself up for not doing so.
It's the first time I've been to a 10:30 service in months. The last time was the Second Sunday after Pentecost. And honestly, when I sat down in the usual pew, and realized that I'd forgotten my pen, one of my first distractions was the realization that it'd been 133 days since I first set foot in church, and where the hell had the time gone?
I didn't have time to wonder that for long; it was a full choral service, the fullest I've ever been at. Even the psalm was sung this time, which I'd never heard before. (It strikes me, as I rewrite this entire post from the stub that I left behind, that this is more music than I'd ever grown up with as a Presbyterian - the only times I'd ever heard that much song before were at the local megachurch, or that one Full Gospel place that Mom took us to once. And that if I'd known this was where I'd wind up, I'd be horrified.)
What also struck me was how sparse the congregation was this time. I've never seen it have so much empty pew before.
The sermon was on Mark 4, the infamous "Go and give everything to the poor" passage - which I'd never actually heard preached before, ever. It was well done, to my ears at least - the recurring refrain of "If we don't define ourselves, someone else or something else will." - another reminder that I really ought to do something about this Christianity bullshit that I've gotten myself into now. (Odd thing? The priestly inflection registered as evangelical to me. Maybe because my memories of church past were dominated by a subdued delivery.)
It was good to be back.