Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My Father's House

It's a running gag at our church that I have been plagued by piles.

Since before we built our first building it seems there has always been a pile of something - dirt, crushed granite, mulch, pebbles, tree limbs, and or rocks - stacked in a prominent place on the property. Oftentimes the makers of these piles plan to remove them right away...but time intervenes...things get in the way and eventually people simply get used to driving up to the church and seeing a stack of lumber or some other pile of debris. In truth, most folks don't seem bothered by it and I suppose that's a good thing to a degree, but it usually bugs me. I have been known to move piles, throw away piles, shovel piles and shift piles to at least get them out of view.

My friend Ben, who also takes pride in the church landscape, once said to me as we hauled away a pile of something, "These folks who put this here may have had good intentions...but this is Our Father's house!"

I thought about that today as I read about the church near Houston which is giving away a house on New Year's Eve to boost attendance. Is that really why they're doing it?

The article says,"At Saturday's service, 20 names will be selected at random and placed with 100 others chosen from services throughout the year. Twelve finalists symbolizing the 12 apostles will be selected."

I couldn't help but think they've mistaken the Gospel for a game show. The Pastor says he knows some people will criticize but it will "show people that serving God is fun!"

I'm one of those weird folks who actually believes serving God is fun...but I don't really see God too clearly in stunts.

I'm not even opposed to gambling...I've been known to wager (not win but wager) on a rare trip to Las Vegas. I've even bet (bet not won) on the horses that run at a track less than a mile from our home.

But...a house lottery...inside a church...with 12 finalists representing the Apostles?

Someone hand me a shovel.

This is Our Father's house!