August 11, 2012

I Don't Have To Go To Church

In a day of grace and permission, why do I go to church every weekend?

I don't have to.  I'm an adult.  Nobody makes me follow through with habits like brushing my teeth or taking my vitamins, and I certainly don't always do those rituals.

So, why do I go to church?

I go because it is my mental anchor for my calendar week.  If I don't go to church, I spend the rest of the week wondering what day it is.

I go because they offer childcare.

I go because that's where I can remember.

I go because prayer washes into me and takes over, like cold milk after Oreos.  Like a PeptoBismol commercial, where the pink coats the animated stomach.  I can feel it.

I go because my heart feels lonely if I don't.

I go because I can ride the wave of voices around me, when I cannot speak the words on my own.

I go because it's good to attend a regularly scheduled event where I am loved.

* * *

"Why I Make Sam Go To Church"

I make him go because I can . . . I outweigh him by nearly 100 pounds.  But that is only part of it.  The main reason is that I want to give him what I found in the world, which is to say a path and a little light to see by.  Most of the people I know who have what I want -- which is to say, purpose, heart, balance, gratitude, joy -- are people with a deep sense of spirituality.  They are people in community, who pray, or practice their faith -- people banding together to work on themselves and for human rights.  They follow a brighter light than the glimmer of their own candle; they are part of something beautiful."

~ Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies

 

* * *
"Another Good Reason to Go to Church"

In the Sunday Washington Post is an article by a woman whose marriage had imploded, and who had just had a massive fight with her best friend.  She doesn't hold much truck with organized religion, but nonetheless, she says, "I was in dire need of people who would be nice to me for less than $125 an hour.  So off I went to church."

~ Lauren f. Winner, Still

8 comments on “I Don't Have To Go To Church”

  1. Three of my favorite authors in one post! Tricia, Anne and Lauren! (what, no Donald Miller?)
    And there are times in Sunday morning worship when I truly feel a physical washing over my heart and soul.

  2. Good thoughts. Here is another good reason - "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
    (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

  3. We, as believers, also go because we love our God, and love his Word, which is plain to us that not to assemble together is sin. I love David's psalm that begins, "I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord!" " Truly, a community of believers is a precious thing. It is not earthly. It is divine.

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