Aug 5, 2018

Endless Summer (Church)

Everyone knows the night before he died, Jesus turned to Peter, James, and John in the Garden of Gethsemane and asked plaintively, "Can you not sweat with me one hour?" This poignant moment in the Passion narrative foreshadows the one hour that future Christians would spend in un-airconditioned churches during the summer months.

Some might complain about summer church -- or not even show up at all. But summer church also offers a plethora of opportunities and joys. Here are just a few:

1. Hot Yoga. All that standing and kneeling in sweat drenched pews? People pay good money for this! Bonus: you'll sweat off 10-pounds and receive salvation.

2. Side Bets. Keep yourself entertained, and potentially enriched, by wagering with your pew mates on whether or not the clergy will sweat through their vestments by the time The Peace rolls around.

3. Beautiful Skin. Overheated churches are basically spa treatments, when you get right down to it. Forget the sauna. Just show up for the 10:00 am service (pro-tip: it's much hotter than the 8 o'clock).

4. Hits from the '80s. As you watch the wax candles droop on the altar, you'll feel totally empowered to speak to the organist and request Modern English's "I'll stop the world and melt with you" as the sequence hymn instead of that old warhorse "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken."

5. Shroud of Turin(ish). During the sermon, the preacher will inevitably wipe his or her face with a
handkerchief. Grab it after the service and if there's an image of the preacher's face, voila! Instant cottage industry.

6. Easy Money. When the crucifer's sweaty hands cause her to lose her grip on the processional cross and it comes crashing down on your head causing you bodily injury and emotional distress, sue the church! Most parishes have a shady lawyer in the pews. Grab him during coffee hour and put him on retainer.

I hope this brief foray into the belly of the summer church beast helps open your eyes to the incredible possibilities of sweating through another August service.

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