Today, before mass, I went apple picking with a dear and wonderful new friend. This is a new tradition I love to do each year that I’ve only started doing since my husband passed. On the east coast, it’s pretty wonderful. You drive to an orchard, there’s a stand there made of wood, and someone takes your cash and gives you a small bag.
In Michigan, its a totally different thing. It’s like apple picking turned into an amusement park. Most orchards seem to not even allow you to pick the apples, but they will sell you the cider, donuts, every kind of butter you can imagine, and of course, the apples. I’m not opposed that that stuff**, and have pumpkin butter in my fridge, but it made me realize that what I really love is the apples and picking them off a tree, simple as that.
I feel the same about church. What I really love, is the Father and hanging with His Son, which right now, while He’s ascended, means the Holy Spirit is involved. I’m in a weird limbo state – pardon the pun – where I have to let a door close but am not quite up to opening a new one. But I can see how, one of my – gages – is the focus of worship. My astute Christian sister made a point that one of the churches she visited, she couldn’t hear the congregation singing, because of how loud the worship band was.
What I love most about the (Messianic) Jewish service I’ve been attending Saturdays, in order to learn Hebrew, is how they worship God. The focus isn’t on the parishoners – I don’t know the right term for a synagogue member – so let me just say – or members’ experience, but on the characteristics of God; His mercy, His greatness, His justice.
The mass reading was on the banquet and the Jesuit preached a fantastic sermon about the garment not being about clothes but about whether or not we have been baptized and are we one with Christ?
As I wander around these tables, although I cannot rush the process, I realize I need to take a seat.
**At the orchard we went to there were those huge blow up slides and bouncy rooms and the local marching band. It felt a little like picking apples at the high school football game, just without the… football. Which was strangely fantastic an definitely memorable.