There are so many reasons NOT to go to church. Like too busy, boring, hypocritical, conservative, heads stuck in the sand, irrelevant, tiring, same old same old been there done that, and sleeping in on Sundays. And then there's the whole "I can find God in nature" one. I'm sure there are tons more. All of these have been excuses at some point in my life.
Church can be a struggle for me. Like when I was younger and was told by someone at church that doubting was not good. "Real Christians don't doubt," he said. But doubting has been a path to faith for me. As I've grown up, I've learned that there's room in the church for all: doubters and believers alike. And as an adult, I've chosen to be part of a church. In particular, the Mennonite church.
Here are some reasons I go to/am part of church, in no particular order:
* It cracks me open. Sometimes in big ways, sometimes in tiny ways. But the cracks let in a little bit of light. Like this quote:
There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. - Leonard Cohen
* I get a weekly dose of hope. And a vision of how the world could be.
* Sometimes a song or a sentence will bring a tear to my eye. For no good reason. Probably light getting through a crack.
* I want to be part of a caring community that nurtures faith and looks for glimpses of God in the everyday. I want that for my kids too.
* I want my kids to think outside of themselves. To know there is a larger world out there. Sometimes a prayer will bring a world event into our awareness in a different way.
* Peace, justice, and service to others are spoken of, encouraged, and modeled. I'm challenged to engage in my world. To change my world. To make a difference.
* I get a brain re-boot each week if I let myself. If I'm open to being changed by a word or a song, it's amazing what can happen. After I fight with my husband (yes, we fight) I need to hear something of grace, forgiveness, and moving on.
* The silence can be profoundly loud. I am less selfish in the silence, and I hear whispers of God's voice. Sometimes. If I'm quiet enough. I wish there were more moments of silence at church. Being silent together with others is a profound experience for me. When I let it be.
* It helps me dive deep into the mysteries of life.
|in a light-filled chapel in Elgin, Illinois|