It’s summer and we all have things we want to be doing on the weekends. Sometimes church just doesn’t sound like one of things we want to do. It’s not as engaging as our favorite TV show. It’s not as fun as drinks out with friends. Sometimes the preacher drones on and you think about how you could have used that extra hour of sleep. It’s a strange mixture of people who go to church, and at some point we all have a moment where we wonder why we go.
When I think about church, there are a few reasons why I think it’s still important in our modern-day lives. Firstly, it’s a counterpoint to our “me-me-me”-focused culture. For about an hour a week, we come to a place where we are asked to think of others—how to love others better, how to meet the needs of those who don’t have enough. How to forgive those who make us angry. We pray for other places and other people who are struggling. We stop focusing on how much we have and what we want to happen and we sit back, find some gratitude, and feel connected to the bigger tapestry of life. For two thousand years, people have taken this time to reflect, to worship, and to try to be better disciples, and that connects us to something so much greater than ourselves or the quality of our day.
Secondly, we are an amazing collection of individuals. (There’s a theology of diversity in there somewhere.) Sometimes we have grumpy folks, or folks who talk too much, or folks who do things differently than we would like to see. But each person has their own story and gifts, and we have an opportunity to get to know people we never would have encountered otherwise. Humans have a tendency to stick with people like themselves, to surround themselves with people who look and think and were raised like themselves. But we are better people when we make room for those different than us, when we let ourselves get to know another viewpoint and appreciate what they bring to the table. To that point, church is one of the last places in our society where we gather intergenerationally, young and old together, where little kids can get to know octogenarians other than their grandparents. This is a gift, a rare event in this day and age.
There are a multitude of other reasons why I believe church is wonderful. It can teach morals and values, responsibility, and how to practice patience, forgiveness and love. We can learn how to interact in relationship, even when it is not easy, and how to build community. Maybe you have your own reasons: the music, the sermons, the food. Regardless, I hope that even though going to church is not exactly the summer beach vacation you want to be on every Sunday morning, it has real value in a culture that has us all a bit uprooted and adrift. Church is a place where I hope you find a loving home and experience peace.
Love and blessings from Germonds Church.
~ Pastor Abbie Huff