Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why go to church?

There are some Sundays when I don't want to go to church.  I feel tired, overwhelmed, too busy, grumpy with someone - the list is endless.

But I go. Why? (and I've asked myself this a lot over the past few years).  Mostly so I don't forget.  Mostly so I keep remembering.  So I keep remembering that I can't do this life on my own.  That I need to keep trusting in Jesus.  That God really does love and accept me.

I don't go because I love religious institutions.  I don't go because I think that hanging out in a daggy building from the 60's will make me acceptable to God.  I don't go because I worry that if I miss it I'll somehow get into trouble.

My friend Keith wrote these words in an Anglican newspaper last week about reading the Bible regularly.

"So much of the Christian life is about remembering - being reminded again and again of things that we know, yet somehow have forgotten or have failed to appropriate in our experience... We are reminded that we are beloved children of God, despite the abundance of our failings.  When it feels as if life is falling apart, we become convinced once again that we rest secure in the Father's everlasting arms"  

Not thrilled about the church? Well, often I'm not either.  But I'm really interested in hearing each week about the God who knows and loves me and has each of my days in his hands.

6 comments:

arthurandtamie said...

Hi Jenny

Our locum opened his sermon this morning with this question. He had lots of suggestions - like enjoying the worship / liturgy / people / community / time to connect with God - but I didn't connect with any of his reasons. But going to remember what we so easily forget, that's a great reason! Thanks!

Tamie

Jen Ax said...

Mmm...heavy stuff! My church is a pretty relaxed and casual church (I can't do the formal stuff anymore) and we took a break and didn't meet over January for a whole lot of reasons!! So I appreciate your thoughts because I definately need a bit of reminding at the moment! Thanks Jen

Sarah said...

Amen! God really kicked me up the butt about this a few years ago. If we only go to church for what we get out of it, then we will really tire of it. It's too easy to treat church like we are consumers only looking to take and not to give.

Sometimes (actually most of the time) I'm really not in the mood for church because of the reasons you mentioned. But...let's not quit this whole loving God and others thing.

Peter Sholl said...

It's not a daggy building from the 60's. Its a daggy building from the 50's!

Heather said...

A few thought-provoking quotes I came across...

"The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God." [CS Lewis, Letter to Malcom]

and

"Enemy-occupied territory--that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening-in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. He does it by playing on our conceit and laziness and intellectual snobbery." [CS Lewis, Mere Christianity]

Graham & Heather said...

No sensible, thought-provoking response, but I do like your choice of photo! Now they really did know how to do church PROPERLY!