This Week in Church: Sentimentality and The Magnificat


As many of you may have sorted out from my past church-related posts, I am a church-going-type person. This is an awkward thing to admit, because, like so many millennials (or whatever, I guess I have to be in this generation even though I'm 32 and don't like Snapchat and had to use Google to learn that PSL stands for Pumpkin Spice Latte), I resist such labels and want to immediately crush you with stipulations what that this does and doesn't mean for my morals and values and lifestyle.

Anyways. I go to church, but lately I haven't really been feeling it. "It" being that special something, spiritual connection, feel good connection and warmth that makes spiritual stuff ring true in my gut. But I'm still going. I have also long thought that there are things to be learned in a church service that can be good for everyone, no matter what their religious practice. So, in order to help myself connect better to the goodness that church can offer, with or without a spiritual connection, I'm going to start sharing my church take-aways.

This week in church, we talked about sentimentality.

Sentimentality is something that churches could be accused of mining and using to great effect: "Feel these feelings, a mingling of guilt and relief and love and fear and hold onto that sweet, weird mixture and don't let go. Revel in the feelings, wonder which is more prominent at what time, attempt to manipulate them and attribute them to different sources and all the while think how wonderful and terrible it is to be human and have this capacity for emotion. Glory in the depths to which you can feel and imagine what these feelings must be connecting you to."

Hmmmmm... and here I am complaining that I'm not really "feeling it" at church. That's interesting.

This week in church, we talked about The Magnificat.

The Magnificat is the song written by Mary when she learned she was carrying little baby Jesus and realized the weight of her role as the mother of God.

Among other things, the song describes God "pulling the mighty down" and "sending the rich away empty handed" while feeding the hungry and exalting the weak.

The question this raises is, where do I fall on that spectrum? I like to see where I am weak and lowly, where I am hungry and in need of help. But compared to what? Compared to whom? Where am I rich? Where am I mighty? Where am I standing on the back of someone else?

What an unpleasant thing to consider.


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