There is no doubt that going to Church is a waste of time.
After all, you could be on Twitter. You could be in B&Q or digging the garden or in bed. Or watching Great British Bake-Off
on BBC iPlayer. Or checking the emails on the work iPad so you
can respond to your boss's responses, and make it look like you're
dedicated before the boss checks again. Or you could be replaying the
highlights of the latest England game.
You will have to share your time with at least one, and possibly
hundreds, of people who often don't have much in common with you. If a
noise-sensitive type who likes reflection and peace and beautiful
liturgy, you may have to be next to a baby. If a young mother or father,
you may have to put up with tutting and shushing moaners.
You will be asked - though not forced - to donate money - partly to
fund a building, partly to pay the person whose talks you don't like.
And then you will frequently be asked to donate money to help people who
have never heard of you and may not thank you. You may well be asked to
give your time to help people whose position in society means they are
unlikely ever to return the honour in this life.
You will spend an hour or more in singing and expressing the praises of
what you cannot see, and cannot prove exists, and giving thanks for a
transaction involving something called "grace" and "sacrifice" that
happened 2,000 years ago - and which you cannot prove happened. You will
often then drink poor quality coffee.
You will be expressing for this short period of time - even if it's the
only time this week - that the world does not revolve around you. That
you are, if rich, obliged to help those less privileged. If you are on
the floor, you can pretend for one hour that you are able to be raised
up. You will be saying, even if the echoes of the working week have rung
around your head from time to time, that making money and climbing
career ladders is not all that matters. You will be showing that it is
possible for a varied group of people, with different lives, political
views and priorities, to come together with a common purpose. You will
have had the chance - in a limited way - to express love to other
people. And you will have the chance to dream the impossible dream that,
although this world is awe-full and beautiful, there is a future that
will be more awe-full and infinitely beautiful.
Going to Church is a waste of time.
It's supposed to be.
h/t Archdruid Eileen