Monday, March 20, 2006

Doing Church



We've been having some really weird weather up here in Rockford. One day it's really nice, almost warm, and the next the temperature had plunged back down again. One day last week I went outside and there was a kind thick layer of snow on my car. It was really wet stuff, real fluffy snow that you could easily brush away with a snow brush.

Yesterday morning I got up in a weird state: both restful and tired. Blame it on a nap taken right before bed, the night before... I got out the door about 10:20, and drove down to church. I went to New Direction Missionary Baptist Church down town. Its an odd shaped, federalist looking building squeezed between a Walgreen's and a US Bank. I went in a side door, and wound my way around the building, finding all the signs saying, THIS WAY TO THE SANCTUARY. As I got closer and closer I heard the bounding drums, and booming voices of a black gospel choir. The music and sermon blended into a harmonious whole, giving a message from God, that actually started to feel like a message from God, warm, mysterious and powerful. Sharp as a two edged sword.

The sermon was about Leah, Jacob's #2 wife, and how she had 3 sons in the hope that each one would cause Jacob to love her. None of them did. Finally by the time she had her fourth son, Judah, she turned her eyes to God, and blessed him in spite of her loveless relationship with Jacob. Judah was an ancestor of Jesus.

It's got me thinking about comics, and the curious fact that church services are something I've rarely seen comic book. As a Christian from a young age, they are definitely something I'd like to see. I don't have a life that's all that unusual, so its strange to think something so much a part of the fabric of my life isn't represented in my graphic fiction. The only examples I can think of are a strip drawn by David Heatley in the McSweeney's Comics Edition, and a scene in a recent issue of Optic Nerve. Not exactly the highest profile comics, huh?

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