Fasting: Day 5 – Going To Church While Fasting

By: Ron Lagerquist

Physical Side

Two cantaloupes juiced;  one glass of grape juice and two large glasses of veggie juice. The veggie juice had more greens than normal. I find veggie juice tastes the best right out of the juicer. During weekdays I make my juice the night before, and I find the next day that veggie juice with lots of greens like kale or spinach, does not taste quite as good. But being Sunday, I was able to drink right from the juicer which means I can add tons of greens and the taste is fresh and alive. 

Spiritual Side

Went to church this morning, which will remain nameless for reasons that will become clear. It was a small country church struggling to emulate a big city church. The praise music was loud and forced, volume could not compensate for the lack of talent. Don’t get me wrong, I like modern, lively worship, but I could feel the hollowness in the disjointed riffs and pounding amps. The message, which was titled, “The End Of The World As You Know It,” a quote from a song by—well the pastor said REM, but actually it’s Bare Naked Ladies—was introduced with a three minute movie clip streamed off YouTube (once they could get it to work.) Then came the train wreck sermon, full of glib clichés and misinformation. I could forgive the mistakes, but the silly jokes and an equally silly smirk was out of place in the context of preaching about something as serious as the end of the world. I felt myself blushing throughout the whole thing. There’s nothing worse then when a church is reaching to be cool and hip, and does it poorly. 

I sat their wondering if this would have been more palatable if I was not fasting, or would I have even noticed?  Maybe I would have stood and clapped and shaken the pastor’s hand congratulating him on a job well done.

I left feeling discouraged and sad. The pastor frothed in his sermon, “I believe that this little church is going to bring a revival to our entire community,” and there was a chorus of tired “amens!” It was the same statement I had heard him say five years ago when this youngish pastor, who was a youth pastor from a large city church, had first signed up for this job. Back then, the amens where enthusiastic with the anticipation of greater things. He had brought video streaming, a drum kit, topical instead of exegetical messages, but no revival. For that, the people would have to hit the streets of this small town and get their hands dirty. Through my two daughters, I had been introduced to this town’s subculture of single mothers, gays and minimum wage young adults, and had visited them in the hospital when they were sick and alone. None of them had any idea this Church even existed. Why would they? After all, no matter how loud or hip the music, it could only be heard a few feet outside the brick and stained glass.  Besides most of the town would be still in bed, sleeping off last night’s bender. 

Contrasting Church, this afternoon I went to the park alone and did nothing other than pray, read, and walk with the unpretentious sound of trees and birds. The breeze was blowing its own kind of revival, the type that happens in the quietness of the human heart.
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Your Comments
after years of fasting and prayer, I have also become tired of trite sermons and churchy sayings...I'm loving this fasting journal though! And I hope you update your blog soon! I visit this site everyday, and I am fasting now myself :)
Your right! I stand corrected. Thanks
Ron Lagerquist
It is REM
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