We Are Not Casual
“Yeah, my church sounds just like yours,” he says with an affirming nod. He’s a good guy, a local businessperson, helping me complete one of the 8,000 tasks on my list to get Galileo Church a worship space. “We’re real casual, too.”
I suppress the urge to growl like a threatened animal and murmur instead, “Can you say more about that?” It’s my go-to response when I need some time to process. Plus, it’s honest. I really would like to know what he means by “casual church,” and if that’s a good description for Galileo.
“Well, you know,” he says, “we wear whatever we want; if there are some Sundays we can’t go, it’s okay; there’s nobody breathing down our neck if we take a break for a while. That’s what we’re all about. It’s…you know…casual.”
Nope. Galileo Church is not casual.
I mean, sure, you can wear whatever you want at Galileo; and if there are some Sundays (or Tuesdays or Thursdays) you can’t go, it’s okay; and there’s nobody breathing down your neck if you take a break for a while. But that’s not what we’re all about. Those are not the first three things to say about the way we are learning to be with each other. Those don’t even make the Top Ten Thousand.
Witness: later that same night, one of our G-groups is sitting in a Mansfield living room, still as statues, holding our breath all together while a young woman curls up and sobs and her young spouse wraps himself around her. We have been praying for their comfort after terrible news. We have joined our hearts with God’s heart and enlisted ourselves in their grief, as best we can.
How many times have we prayed for each other in the weeks past? How many times have we bowed before God’s throne together, just 6 or 7 or 8 of us, in the dim light of a friend’s living room lamps? Long before this bad news: all the practice, all the care we have taken to cultivate trust and share life together.
We will sit here for a few minutes more while she pours out her flood of sadness. We will squeeze his shoulders and kiss her hair and whisper our love and pray God's comfort. This is not casual. We are not casual.