Hi everyone! As I contemplated my topic for today’s FaiTHought, I began to think about our church service this morning. Several faces came into my mind, sweet faces of kind and loving friends, family really, who had made me smile and brightened my day. Some did so with a smile, a kind word, a story, a generous gesture, or with just their presence.
One friend asked about me, the kind of asking that’s real, not surface-y. She wanted to know how things were with me and my family. She lifted my spirits with her bright smile and the words, “I’m praying for you.” Then she entrusted me with a situation she is confronting, and we comforted each other with smiles of understanding and a hug.
During our time of greeting, another friend came over and offered a crooked grin and a hug. “We love you guys,” he said to my sweet husband and me. Then he side-hugged me and said, “Of course, you’re our favorite.” And he winked.
A friend sitting in front of us turned around before the sermon began and whispered, “Don’t leave before I tell you about what happened between two of my kids this week.” Later she shared a story about her son and daughter, angry at each other and full of bitterness, they finally made peace.
It all began with her son, who humbled himself and bought some very special gifts for his sister on her birthday. The gifts touched her heart. He demonstrated that he both loved her and knew her. He put thought and time and energy into the relationship because it meant something to him. It touched her and helped her to realize that he meant something to her as well. The story made me glad, and I sensed that it blessed her to share it with me.
Yet, another friend said yes when we asked could she bring our daughter home after church. That allowed my sweet husband and I to travel in a different direction to a museum exhibit we wanted to see (free admission day!).
I need people, and they need me. It’s a simple as that.
And before we left, one of our pastors paid us a lovely compliment about who we are and what he sees as our role in our church body. It deeply touched us and encouraged us right down to our bones. I’m not sure he knows how profoundly he impacted us through his few, thoughtful words.
I suspect I have friends and some family who wonder, “Why does she go to church every Sunday? What does she get out of it?” I believe I’ve answered that question today.
Is it because I feel obligated? Is it because my mother raised me to? Is it because I’m afraid God might be displeased with me if I don’t? Is it simply because one of the ten commandments instructs me to keep the Sabbath holy?
I go because it’s good for me. I go because I’m made for community. I go because I’d literally starve without it. I’m made to relate to other people, to talk and touch and laugh and weep with them. We are made to share life together, and whenever we meet with other believers, we have a chance to build each other up in our faith, whether through worship, prayer, or fellowship (as in the examples I’ve given above). I can’t do that from my couch in front of the television or even in my favorite chair with a Bible on my lap. I need people, and they need me. It’s a simple as that.
Bye for now,