Speak Eagle

3 Upside-Down Reasons Why I Go to Church

This past weekend, I asked myself, “Why do I do this? Why do I go to church?” And as I thought about it, 3 reasons began to roll in, in an upside-down kind of way.

 

1.  Because I’m too busy.  watch on arm

Years ago, one of my friends held his hand up in front of his face and said that we get so focused on what’s right here in front of us that we don’t ever see what’s above us. That can be me, if I let it. But for a few hours each week, I intentionally take my hand away from my face and look up.

I sense God wooing me through His Word, I feel His love wrap around me, reminding through music and art and words and beauty and truth that there is a reality that exists beyond the surface of my hand- in the spiritual realm. I turn my palm up in surrender. And I breathe, catching glimpses of dim reflections in a mirror, looking forward to the day I will see face-to-face.

 

2.  Because I hate organized religion.candlelight

So, I want to be different. I want make my church a place where we can be real, where we can heal, ask hard questions, be the seekers. A place where we remind ourselves and each other that we don’t follow a fallible human person- we follow JESUS.

Jesus- the One who deconstructed religion– overturned the tables, stumped the Pharisees, embodied love. He was a renegade, and I want to search out the heart of the gospel and live it- like Jesus.

 

3.  Because the church is full of hypocrites.

And I am chief among them. We stand together, such a mess of pride and deceit, fear, and hiding and pretense, and we need each other. That’s precisely why we need each other. A walking, talking, breathing reminder of the gospel- the good news that we don’t have to hide or be afraid because…We are LOVED.

And because we are loved, we can admit we’re a mess and give ourselves grace and give grace to others because of the grace that has been poured out on us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

And so I stand. Among broken people. And I am one. Can’t even sing. So I close my eyes, let the tears fall, and just listen:

“Could we with ink the ocean fill,

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

And every man a scribe by trade;

To write the love of God above

Would drain the ocean dry;

Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

Though stretched from sky to sky.”

church-at-dusk

I’m overwhelmed by God’s love for me. Me, a hypocrite. Me, who wants to do the right thing but so often doesn’t. Me, who needs to be reminded of the grace of God.  Every week.

 

That’s why I go to church. 

 

(Lyrics from The Love of God. By Frederick M. Lehman, 1917.)

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