I have been thinking a bit about the church and her life, like you do! In the midst of this ruminating, the echoes of a statement were bouncing around "Jesus is for life, not just for Christmas". It is also at a time when I consider all matters financial, in a personal setting, and in particular that very best of things - insurance.
My life is insured for a few shekels, which means of course, that if I were to shuffle off my mortal coil, Mrs Acular will be able to treat herself to a new dress. I have choices. Do I wish to up the premium, so that Her Indoors can get new shoes as well, at the time of my demise? I opted to deny her this option, at this stage. But what if I get poorly? Will I need another insurance policy to pay the window cleaner when I am festering in bed? And what if I am really ill, and I mean more than man-flu (if such a terrible condition has been discovered yet)? There is an insurance for being not just poorly, but very poorly.
We think about insurance for the nasties in life. We want to boost our immunisation against financial ruin in the event that something in life goes adrift - like bouncing the car off of a wall, having ones gadget dropped in a toilet, the possibility that the last payment for the cooker isn't met through some act of fate. For the benefit of a sermon that I once preached, I had discovered that I was the proud owner of not five, not ten, not twelve, but of fourteen separate and distinct insurance policies. The total cost of the premiums would have bought me a Mercedes Benz - and we all do it.
And so back to "Jesus is for life, and not for Christmas". The world has a tendency to use God as the Celestial Insurance Policy. Christians do it too. In the good times we are apt to drift from a rigorous church attendance - and after all, games of golf are important to golfists, even on a Sunday! We are in danger of regarding God as Critical-Illness Cover and not a Full-life policy (this is illustrative, by the way). I have a great belief that our Christian faith and practice be our way of life, not a bolt-on extra. So many of us (and in this I can exclude myself, for perhaps obvious reasons - and not because I am an Angel) go to work and never speak of our faith and all that we hold dear, instead dosing up up insuring against the ill-winds of our life, in private. Sometimes, in my less charitable moments, I start to blame those bibles that give you a page number in the event of a given trauma? Suffering from Psoriasis? p867. Your iPad failed to sync? p461 - you get the idea.
Whilst it is understandable that we turn to God most fervently in the [mostly sad] salient moments of our life, it is not the best relationship that we can have with Our God. I have been guilty of the same, so speak as one who has no room to judge. I am glad, though, that God does not do the same.