I love Jesus Christ with all my heart, soul and strength. Church, however, I do not love. I don't do cordial or casual well. I don't do small-talk , I don't avoid pink elephants; and in my experience, church is a lot of those things. Church is often "formulas for freedom," "patterns for perfection." It is cliches, alliteration, and very uncomfortable. Churches have a jargon, and as soon as something has words that outsiders don't understand, it becomes mostly irrelevant.
But every November, it seems, I try. And today's attempt, honestly, was mostly for my kids (but that is another blog post).
All that negativity being said, today's experience was likable enough that I am at least willing to do it again.
During his sermon, the pastor had a vulnerability about him, and it made me feel like just maybe this church is "real."
Oh sure, they had all the pomp and circumstance of a typical "non-denominational, seeker-friendly, contemporary worship" church service. But since it was smaller than a mega-church, the hubaloo was diluted. The bulletin was not six pages, the need for money didn't include building renovations, and the list of available small groups didn't meet EVERYone "where they are."
During the "communion meditation" this morning, the gentleman providing the devotional gave a little piece that will probably motivate me to go back...
He got it from someone else, but he said, "In my youth, I thought I'd have sin beat by the time I was old. Now that I am old, I know sin actually gets stronger as I age.
"I need Jesus. I need that weekly cup of wine to remind me that through the blood of Christ, sin has been defeated."
We are called to be in fellowship with like-minded individuals, couples and families. We are called to worship in unison with a group. We are called to pray and serve and hold accountable and be accountable our brothers and sisters in Christ. I may finally be at a place where I am maybe willing to partake in that calling. Maybe.
Lord knows, I need that cup.
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