Why I go to church

No, I don’t mean why I work at a church. That’s a whole other post or three.

I mean, why do I GO to church?

Church, as we know it, is dying. My friends who don’t go look at me like I’m sort of an exotic pet. Oh! they say. You’re not like those other Christians. (PS. I am like many, many Christians. Anyway.)

Sundays are the only day off for many people! Coffee shops and sleep beckons, as well as the lake, the mall, praying outside by yourself on your patio with your cup of coffee. I SO GET THAT.

But last Sunday, which could have been a day off for me, I found myself loading up my kids and driving to church. They whined and complained, and honestly I did too. I gave them every wrong reason why we were headed there when we didn’t have to be. I had to pick something up. It was on our way to lunch (yes! I actually said that!). Because we might as well.

But when I got there, I remembered why I go to church, and why I bring my children.

We got greetings and hugs at the door, from the lady who knows I’m not a hugger and couldn’t care less!

We sang some of the most beautiful songs about nature and creation, which I love to do in the summer when creation is a little more….in your face, here in Georgia.

I heard the exact sermon I was meant to hear from my friend and colleague, about forgiveness being like liquid glass, the glue that holds all relationships together. And I started to forgive myself a little, and then my children, and then worked on the rest of the world (work in progress!).

I handed out communion to everyone, especially the people who didn’t deserve it at all, and my heart broke open a little more.

We sang our way out, heard the proclamation, “Go in peace,” and went for the treats in the fellowship hall. My son spilled juice, and someone helped him clean it up.

This is a normal day at church. Nothing weird, nothing special, just a day where I got to sing and pray and hear grace, with my brothers and sisters. It’s the whole point…to be actually in the presence of God, to bring it in with you or to pray it there, and when you’re having a bad day, to be able to lean on the knowledge that others will pick you up, hug you, clean it up when you spill.

And that’s why I go to church.

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4 thoughts on “Why I go to church

  1. Oh, gosh, I so get it too! At least the part about why in the end you go to church. I was not raised Lutheran and only started going to a Lutheran church because of my husband. In fact the only reason we go to church now if I’m being completely honest is because my husband “makes” us. I know, I know, terrible thing to admit; it’s true though. Having said that, there are many times when I am glad he “makes” us go – times when it seems something in the sermon was meant just for me or even a song will lighten my load and put a smile on my face (This is really very hard to admit because I think there is waaay too much singing – and I’ll deny it if asked 🙂 ) or something or someone at church will touch my heart in an unexpected way. It’s that presence of God thing that I don’t expect because I’d rather be home sipping hot tea and relaxing. But like you, after I realize why I go to church, I can forgive myself and my children for not wanting to go and thanking my husband that he made us go. And thankful that God forgives me and I can take communion even though I don’t deserve it!

    1. None of us deserve that grace….and I think that makes it sweeter! Thanks for sharing that…every time I don’t “have” to go to church, it hits me how hard it is to just get me and my family there, and I am so thankful for everybody who shows up…glad it’s a blessing to you too.

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