Being with God together

Tack, Tack, Tack! Hammer hits nail, piercing through paper, effectively attaching the papers to the large wooden door of the Church Witenberg. The papers which hang from the nail contain 95 theses against practices of the Catholic Church. Martin Luther’s indictments combined with the efforts of other reformers would give rise to the Protestant Reformation. Plainly put, people were fed up with Catholicism and longed for new approaches to worship. The Lutherans (named after Martin Luther) were established in Germany during the same time reform churches began to appear across Europe. For the first time a church service was read in the common language, rather than Latin.

Travel forward 495 years and all the way across the Atlantic; in this present day Martin could have emailed his 95 theses to the church hierarchy. It was Easter time and although I do not consider myself an active Christian, this holiday inspires the best in me, and thus I dragged myself to church. I do sincerely wish that I was the kind of person who could only attend one church. But since my father is a sincere Catholic while my mother attends a Pentecostal Church, I felt it necessary to acknowledge both sides of my upbringing.

I attended the Pentecostal Church first and then later went to Easter Mass. The Pentecostal Church was not dissimilar from a party, though it was more organized. They had a rock band, people danced and clapped as they sang along with the band. All the while children ran around with streamers. The pastor, an enigmatic young man had an engaging lesson about sacrifice. I also had cake with fellow attendees after the service; all in all it was jovial.

The Pentecostals are by no means the only kids on the block. Several blocks over the Catholics were celebrating the end of Lent. Easter is the greatest feast for Catholics. They undergo 40 days of self-denial to die with Christ on Good Friday, so that they will rise with him on Easter. The Catholic celebration of Easter is based upon ceremony and tradition, much more so than the Pentecostal church.

No dancers or rock bands entertained the parishioners, nor was I invited to cake afterwards.

I arrived back at my dorm with a head full of questions. The most pertinent: “Is there a right way to worship God?” Do the Protestants have it? Or are the Catholics correct in their formality and adherence to the old church calendar? These are important questions to contemplate, though I doubt if we will ever receive satisfying answers, at least while we are alive. At least we can continue to try understanding God with others every Sunday, Saturday or weekday.

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