Not Normal

When a pastor tells you (well, a congregation), that not even death can separate you from the love of God that will never let you go…

…It’s not normal to contemplate suicide. And whether that counts. And whether it will bring you closer to God or just into beautiful nothingness.

Just sayin.

Gist of sermon was to sum up the gospel: we’re supposed to know we are embraced by the love of God that will never let us go and we are tossed out into the world to share that same gospel in as many ways as possible. To be a follower of Jesus is to have a jubilant song in your heart, your heart burning, as those Emmaus disciples and let your life burst forth from that. (Paraphrasing, of course!)

And because I don’t have mystical religious experiences anymore, I don’t know how to have a jubilant song in my heart anymore. My heart doesn’t rise and fall with passion for the world and people. It just feels broken.

6 responses to “Not Normal

  1. I wonder if that pastor was aware of how his message was interpreted. Because it seems to me that Jesus came into this broken world to save it. And to save you and me – we, who are also broken. The joy, rather than in singing a jubilant song – chirping away to others – is in relationship with our creator, father, savior, and spirit. It’s best expressed, I think, in community.

    To be sure, there is beauty and joy to be found in what surrounds us. But I don’t see us tramping off singing, “Hi, ho, hi, ho, it’s off to faith we go.”

    And a quiet contemplation is to be valued (the cool, green valley), as much as the exhiliration of a feeling (the altitude of a mountain).

  2. It comforts me to remember the scripture that assures us the Spirit groans for us, even when we cannot pray ourselves (paraphrased, of course). I hope the Spirit’s groans “ace” (and chase away) suicidal thoughts that plague you today. Singing is not required when your heart is broken.

  3. I believe we were taught in seminary not to “promise an experience.” I preached the same passage with the theme that Jesus is with us whether we realize it or not. The mission was to look for Jesus when life is hard. I’m sure your heart would burn too if Jesus gave you a private Bible study session. In my experience, jubilant songs come and go.

  4. I’m sorry. We preachers do manage to get it wrong and it hurts when we do. One thing I do know–following Jesus does not ensure peace, harmony or happiness.

    • Seems that my pastor-type friends noticed fallacies in the sermon, or at least in my interpretation of it. I think I was most disturbed that I was having suicidal thoughts when thinking that even death can’t separate us from God, and that I can’t experience God the way I used to (manic euphorias and such). Content of the sermon and what I got from it was secondary. Rationally I know that following Jesus definitely doesn’t ensure good times or a happy life. Would be nice though.

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