Greetings gentle readers. Both of you.
BK asked me to write something for inclusion in a new folder we are giving out to visitors to and new members of our church. I've been putting it off for over a week now and he probably doesn't even need it anymore.
Anwyay, I've written something and I invite you (whether you are a churchgoer or not) to read it and comment. Since I haven't yet established the personal web page I'm allotted by my ISP, I'm including the article in this post. You may respond via the comments link below, if you like.
Or you could simply visit some other blog that doesn't require homework.
Why Should I?
Let’s say it’s Sunday morning. It’s raining and 40 degrees. In a certain house in our town, a man is roused awake by his wife. “Get ready for church,” she says. “Why should I drag my tired body out of this bed and go to, of all places, church? Okay, the sermon is good, especially when Pastor Jim is preaching, and they have that modern-ish music at the 9:30 service. But I can get good music on the radio if I look hard enough, and half those pastor types put their sermons on the internet nowadays. I can just stay home where it’s warm and dry,” he says, though because he’s not quite awake yet, it does sound a bit slurry.
I have a hard time arguing with this guy. This is the way I feel on rainy Sundays, and sometimes when it’s not raining. “But you’re the pastor!” Yes, that’s true. Perhaps I should not be feeling that way, but there it is.
Let’s face it, from a certain point of view church is simply not an attractive idea. This is especially true of the way church is often ‘done’ nowadays. It’s even truer in the mainline denominations, and the Methodist church is certainly one of those. Say the word “church” to someone and the mental picture they’ll form is likely to feature 150 year old hymns and strict-faced people telling them, from the pulpit and other places, how to behave.
I’m not going to argue that this picture doesn’t reflect reality. But I am going to suggest that there is something more, something deeper.
The number one reason I go to church, and would go to church even if I weren’t required to be there, is relationships. “Now hold on just one minute!” you say. “The number one priority in a church is supposed to be God!” I can’t argue with that; you’re absolutely right.
But get this—God is with me all the time. God is everywhere I go before I even get there. I can go nowhere to get away from God’s presence. If I want to be with God I don’t even have to get up from the chair in which I am sitting as I type this.
If I want to experience the presence of God in this world however, I’d better get myself into relationship with God’s people, and that means spending some time in church. And it’s not because church buildings are in and of themselves containers of God’s presence. It’s that church buildings are, at least once each week, containers of people who know God, and that means that God himself is there. I can say this with confidence because of something the apostle Paul wrote, “The church is the body of Christ.” Jesus said so too, although he wasn’t quite as succinct as Paul. Jesus Christ is present to the world today through his body, which we call the church. Not a building but a people.
I want to experience God in my life, in other words, I want a relationship with God. So every Sunday, raining and 40 degrees or not, I get up. I prepare myself to experience God, and I do just that by being with His people, the church.
I hope you’ll come and see for yourself what I’m getting at.