Churches can be a vital force for their community’s mental health by gathering community, lifting up others in prayer, and creating safe spaces where access to community support is not predicated on falsely claiming that everything is fine.
We have the capacity to right wrongs in the present, and our future lies before us. What we do with it, independent of our salvation, is the matter that ought to occupy our imaginations.
Human beings have an almost limitless capacity for self-delusion, and “Midnight Mass” does much to put it on display. Perhaps that is its most redeeming offering: it forces the interpreter of Scripture to be humble.
According to a recent study by Lifeway, 49% of Protestant pastors frequently hear their congregants repeating conspiracy theories. In institutions that purport to be about the truth, and tout Jesus’ teaching, “the truth will set you free,” why are churches such hotbeds for conspiracy theories?
So often, ministry is treated as something that ordained people do, but the priesthood of all believers tells us that everyone is called to ministry, and that churches ought to spend considerable time developing everyone’s gifts in ministry and helping them articulate their various vocations. That commitment is centuries old, but it is only in this present pandemic that I am seeing its promise truly come to life. It continues to enrich my own ministry to see it as a shared endeavor with congregants, and I am finding new contours of my own call in the wake of the pandemic. For that, I’m thankful.