I eat oatmeal for breakfast every day.
If I’m being honest, I really don’t like the taste of oatmeal. I mean, I put some local honey in it, somewhat to sweeten it and somewhat for allergy purposes. By the way, local honey is a good way to combat allergies if you didn’t know.
I eat oatmeal every day not because it’s tasty or sexy. I eat oatmeal every day because it is a good way to get needed carbohydrates without bread or pastries or junk. And doctors say it’s good for your heart and cholesterol.
I don’t know if that’s true or not but it seems to have worked for a long time for a lot of people. But it ain’t sexy or new. I’m not really into new things so much. Don’t get me wrong; having a new car is nice (which I don’t have). Every now and again, I buy something new but I don’t get too carried away with it.
New isn’t always better.
I’m sure you’ve all heard this before but we live in a culture that is obsessed with the new and the “relevant.” It’s all over advertising, the news (think “this is breaking news,” in other words new) etc. My kids have been infected with this disease. If it’s new, they want it. It’s not their fault. It is what the culture is right now.
But it’s not like it hasn’t always been this way. We have always been a race (the human race) who feels like we need to constantly re-vamp everything; update. Heck, our phones automatically do this: “An update is available.”
We have done this in the Church also. We’ve gotten sucked into the cultural idea that new is better. We are, especially in the Protestant world, obsessed with this stuff. Even my “Reformed” brethren are worried about being “relevant” and new. We’re in a time where even church planters are worried about “branding.” When I was a Protestant church planter, I can’t tell you how many times someone told me I needed to be concerned with “branding” and how we were going to advertise.
Side note: This is not a post on bashing Protestants.
A few years ago (about 4 now), I began a journey. I began a journey into the historic Church. I was reading the Scriptures and wondering what some passages meant. So I decided to do something that has brought some “trouble” for me. I decided to see what the early Christians thought about Jesus. I wanted to know how they lived out their faith in the Christ. I wanted to know how they interpreted Holy Scripture.
I have found something surprising and wonderful. I have found and stepped into a very deep well of Christian experience unlike anything I had experienced as a Protestant. Now, just to be clear, the early Church wasn’t perfect; they had their problems as well. My point is not to proclaim that we need to “go back” to the way it was. I mean, I’m cool with wearing robes and such…
My point is this. Christians have been living out their faith in certain ways, worshipping in certain ways for a very long time. It ain’t sexy or new or culturally cool. It’s kinda like oatmeal in that way. Seems bland on the surface and we’re tempted to add sugar or milk or something to make it taste better. But the benefits of eating oatmeal are not found in the moment. Rather, the benefits are realized over time.
I feel like walking the ancient road of Christianity is like that also. Some of the benefits are found in the moment. But, over time, what we come to realize is that we are walking together in that great communion of the saints, day by day, Sunday by Sunday, Eucharist by Eucharist.
Our souls will thank us in the long run.