Southeast Christian is not our home church, but we have a long-standing tradition of going there every Good Friday. They hold a candlelit service that we have enjoyed attending every year.

When we showed up there earlier today, we were surprised at the traffic, both vehicular and human. But that was nothing compared to the surprise that awaited us in the sanctuary. Instead of a quiet, dimly-lit, reflective atmosphere, we were confronted by bright lights, loud music, and no seats to be had on the ground floor. We ended up – and I do mean up – in the balcony, so far off to one side that we were looking at the backs of the heads of the band.

I am not here to critique the music or the preaching. Everything that SECC does reflects high values of quality and production.

Judging by the size of the crowd – easily double over the previous year – this is what folks want. But I am not “folks”; I came to take time away from the cares of this world and seek a time of quiet reflection, and stumbled into a rock concert. As a result, I left feeling unsettled and shortchanged.

To quote Timon the Meerkat: “Did I miss something?” Am I turning into a crusty old geezer? Are they supplying the needs of the spirit, or are they merely “giving the crowd what they want” and tickling itching ears?

I leave that for you, dear reader, to decide.

But I will be going somewhere else next year.

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