HT: to Anastasia over at "Kyrie, Eleison!" for composing and posting this pithy, and accurate, little poem on why people are forsaking church, that is, "neglecting to meet together" (Heb. 10:25) to receive the Lord Jesus and His life and forgiveness of sins in the Divine Service. All I can say is: "Spot on!" Thanks much, Anastasia! (Reprinted here with her permission.)
Is, they miss good old-fashioned reverence,
Which doesn’t fit well at services
With balloons and whirling dervishes.
To fix your soul you must face what’s wrong,
Which is hard to do to a happy-clappy song.
You won’t even see where you’re not so great
If all you do is celebrate, celebrate.
Celebrations will draw them for the short run,
For people love playing and music and fun.
But you need ever more to keep getting those highs,
Inevitably you crash, and what’s left but sighs?
Entertainment grows wearisome, feelings go flat,
You have to give people much more than that.
Sentiment sours and pleasures aren’t joys,
And church-going folk are not all girls and boys.
Adults want substance and not just feeling,
But wisdom and truth and meaning and healing
In short, they’re searching for things profound
That have little to do with clowning around.
Fun is for picnics, church camps, and youth meets,
Ditto, dancing and movies and magical feats.
In church, theoretically, God is right here;
If so, then with love, awe, and reverence draw near.
If not, there’s your trouble; go back to square one.
You’ve but ethics to offer, and feelings and fun,
And people will seek the deep Mystery elsewhere,
Or give up and pretend they no longer care.
The secret attraction is Himself, Jesus Christ,
By Whom, more than anything, folks are enticed.
Dearer than all else, all our Hope, all our Heart,
With decorum receive Him, before more depart!