Pastor spoke this morning about the pursuit of “Righteousness” and that sometimes it meant leaving religion behind. Reminded me of a church sign I saw some time back that read “Tried Religion…. Try Jesus.”   Why today’s title? It’s that time of year again…..that rare national church day, retail bonanza,  get up, dress up and show up. I believe the Easter Bunny has as many or maybe more fans than Santa Claus. I am sure the retail folks like him better in some ways. You see to open presents and such you can put on  pajamas or whatever but Easter has a parade and even a song about a ladies hat. Ah…new hat requires new shoes, dress, purse and other accessories too numerous to mention. Now it doesn’t stop here. Don’t forget with mom looking so good it would be disrespectful for dad and the kids to show up in anything less than today’s newest. Can you say “credit, debit or cash”? Having so much fun with this lost my way, better get back to the pew.

We all know Christmas and Easter are two times of the year that most of the pews are full. It is not my intent to belittle anyone. The church is full of folks that are there any time the door is open, those who never miss a Sunday and the ones I call “two-fers”. Two-fers are the ones whose Sunday always include Sunday school. For those of you who are just curious we Christians tend to believe these Sunday services and school cover our bad behavior during the next six days; at least that is what my less religious friends tell me. Every now and then someone says something different and simple that enlightens and inspires. But if it challenges us to be better, that is a pass this along please. When it comes from the pulpit it requires at least a respectful Amen! This didn’t come from the pulpit, our pastor has taken to wandering around as he preaches, stopping at the pulpit now and then to check his notes if need be but he said it.

Religion is to keep it simple, the way we worship. For many people this is very important. You might say religion is a procedure by which we as humans have deemed to be a comfortable way to worship our God. The songs we sing, the way we pray, the rules or beliefs of our particular faith.  Do we seek to be righteous, to live as Jesus would have us live? Are we a better person today than we were yesterday? Two days a year, every Sunday or any time the door is open. The question is “are you a better person who seeks to live a righteous life?” What is “to be righteous”? Pastor stopped moving around and said this to us…

 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’This is the first and great commandment.And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

So pastor here is the Amen you didn’t get from the pew this morning.   AMEN