“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dream last night - It's a Churchy dream

I had a fairly "churchy" upbringing and most of the lessons I've learned growing up have stuck with me through today and have been passed on to my children. Some lessons are more ingrained than others, but I can safely say that I am a product of my upbringing and old habits die hard. I went to a Lutheran school from 3rd grade to 9th grade. We went to church every Sunday. I went to youth group through the end of high school. I sang in the choir from 4th grade to 9th grade. I was baptized as a baby and confirmed in the 8th grade. It's hard to turn one's back on what was so ingrained and such an intrinsic part of life, so I don't. It's me.

So last night I had a "churchy" dream. Here it is.
I was on some unfamiliar street trying to catch a bus to go to church. The buses I needed kept passing me and the buses I didn't kept stopping. I never caught one, but I did finally get to church. I walked in. The church was the one I grew up in, Bethany Lutheran in Long Beach. The church had been completely remodeled. It was shaped in a big semi-circle and the altar was super white. The seats where the pastors sat when they weren't at the Lectern or Pulpit were on a high balcony above the altar overlooking the congregation. I walked up to the front to take Communion. Instead of being led to the spot where I went when I was a younger (kneeling around the railings around the altar), I was let to a 6-top round table. I noticed that there were many 6-top round tables around which other Communicants were sitting. On my way there the current pastor there, who I've never met in real life, said to me "hey, nice hair cut." A plate was passed around with chunks of yummy bread and pieces of salami, really really excellent salami. There was an end-piece of salami I was hoping would still be on the plate when it got around to me. It wasn't. Someone else took it, but the person next to me noticed I was a bit bummed about that and gave me the yummiest piece of bread he could find. I commented that this was a lot different than the last time I was at this church. A man at the table said that we're celebrating The Lord's Feast, so why not sit at a proper dining table. I mentioned that there wasn't any wine and the man told me that they found that too many people drank too much wine in this setting so when everyone was back in their seats they'd pass around a chalice for everyone to take a sip out of. As I walked back to my seat I took a wrong turn and found myself in this weird narthex-annex. In this weird narthex-annex were tons, and I mean tons, of good looking red-headed teenagers playing frisbee, having a good time and listening to the church service via an overhead speaker. Then I found myself outside the church. I noticed that the name of the street the church is on was changed from its former name to Bethany Lutheran Street. It was only this changed name for the block the church is on. I looked inside the church and some elder came up to me and I while I was telling him what the church looked like when I lived in Long Beach, people who were sitting in the pews kept turning around and shushing me.

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