My husband surprised me by ordering this book for me after seeing it sitting in my amazon cart. I started reading this book the day it arrived, and I read it very quickly. It is easily readable and still contains so much depth. In the forward, Glennon Doyle Melton says, “Searching for Sunday helped me forgive the church and myself and fall in love with God all over again” (ix). With such high praise, who wouldn’t want to keep reading? I would agree with this statement even though I’m not at a place where I need to forgive the church. I love the church with all its bumps and bruises. This book helped me love the church even more.
This book is organized around seven sacraments. I appreciate the way she names the sacraments. This Protestant can get behind seven sacraments when they are described in this way. “The church tells us we are beloved (baptism). The church tells us we are broken (confession). The church tells us we are commissioned (holy orders). The church feeds us (communion). The church welcomes us (confirmation). The church anoints us (anointing of the sick). The church unites us (marriage)” (xvii).
Not surprisingly, my favorite sacrament remains communion. I love communion. One of the things I miss most is serving communion. I love presiding at the table. I love inviting all to Jesus’ table. I love inviting people to remember. I love serving communion by intinction to a faith community I know. I miss calling people by name as I say this is the cup of salvation or this is Christ’s blood shed for you. For now, I receive the elements from the hands of someone who doesn’t know me, and it is enough because God knows me.
I read the section on confirmation the night before seeing nine youth I did not know confirm their faith. We still do not know each other. And yet, we are bound together in the promises we made and our love of Jesus. I can faithfully say I will support them on their faith journey because I believe in the church universal and the brother and sisterhood of all of God’s children.
My least favorite sacrament, as presented in this book, was marriage. I want marriage to be open to all who love each other and until it is I struggle with seeing it as a sacrament. Not everyone gets married, and that makes this sacrament feel as if it is reserved for only some. (The same argument could be made for Holy Orders, however, I believe by commissioning mission trip participants, blessing those who serve, and thanking everyone who takes seriously the call to love all and serve all-the Holy Orders are open for everyone.) I worry that calling marriage a sacrament encourages people to stay in hurtful or abusive relationships. Also, I worry about feelings of guilt or shame when a marriage ends-sometimes without the consent of one spouse. Maybe, if marriage had been earlier in the book, I might have enjoyed it more. I wanted the book to end with the same energy I felt for the other sacraments. Sadly, I didn’t feel it.
I recommend this book for those wanting a new look at the sacraments. I recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t found a church home. Read this book before you stop your search. I recommend this book for those who love the church and those who wish they could love the church.