Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why do you go to church?

So, this past Sunday I decided to attend a different church because I missed the service at the church I regularly attend. Don't ask me why I just didn't skip it all together. I really needed to go.

Anywho, the priest/pastor at this church started the sermon by asking the congregation,

"Why do you go to church?"

Hmm...good question.

Not only that, he actually started going around the congregation asking individual people. 

Please don't ask me, please don't ask me, please don't ask me... 

Some of the answers people gave were very valid legalistic answers. One guy pointed out he attended out of obligation because he really didn't want to go to hell. Some other answers where answers I was already thinking in my head. Some answers were more laid back.

Yeah, I want to get to know God better. Yeah, I want to worship Him. Yeah, I want to praise Him for all of His blessings. Yeah, I want to be connected to the Body of Christ. But, yeah...why? 

I really didn't have a why to my why I go to church reasons. Maybe I had it, but I didn't quite know how to formulate a real, from the heart, answer. And, besides, I was a visitor to the church. I really didn't want the attention...or I wasn't really brave. And, my word, thank goodness he chose my neighbor (as in the person sitting beside me) to answer. Phew.

You know, growing up, I went to a church where most of the people I knew seemed to go for very non-Christ centered reasons. I could hear whispers, loud talk and even laughing among the congregation during the service (and not because the priest/pastor said something funny). I am guilty of that. Especially during my teenage years. I didn't really remember anything about the sermon as soon as I walked out the door. Needless to say, I didn't really apply anything that I learned to ordinary life. There are many other examples, but I am not trying to judge or be negative here. I am telling you this from what I saw and did. I didn't know their inward reasons. 

My charming hometown in Mexico. You can see the steeple of the church I grew up in. My husband took this picture from the roof of a hotel.
But, why did we all go? To socialize? To make an appearance? Because of obligation? To show other people how "good" we were? To "please" God? To ask for forgiveness for the sins we/I committed that week, feel good and then sin again the following week? Because we/I really want to go to heaven, regardless of what we/I do on earth (hey, at least I went to church every Sunday!)? To sing some "feel good" songs? Because I/we haven't gone in a long time? Yes, I've also posted "@church" or "#church" on the www. 

It's ok if you can relate to one of these questions. I certainly do.

However, as I continue to grow in Him, I become more and more aware that one of the [personal] main reasons of why I should gather with the church (you!) is because of/as an act of...gratitude

My church-going reason should be out of gratitude. Gratitude because of what Jesus has done for me on the cross. I am not saved by what I do. Yes, it is a requirement to do good, but it is not enough to get me to heaven. However, I truly believe I am saved because of an act of Grace. An act of Love. I don't deserve it and I certainly can't earn it by "pleasing" God with my good works and my decency. I am not enough!

And, all of the other reasons I have for going to church may be good reasons, too.

The priest/pastor didn't really give a concrete answer, or judged, or said "that's a valid answer and that's not", etc. But he really made me think.

I can go on and on about this. So, I want to challenge you with the same question... "Why do you go to church?" You don't have to answer in a comment (if you want to, you can, comments make me happy), just think about it.

What you discover about yourself might be dangerous. How beautiful is that?

Under so much Grace, 
Gabby


2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, friend! Your posts ALWAYS make me think! Haha

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