It is Sunday morning, September1, 2013 and in a few more minutes I will be going to Church. Why bother, you might ask. You all know me for what I am. Sarcastic, gossipy, lazy, materialistic, irreverent, and very critical of religions in general. So why would this woman be going to church? Does she think a few minutes in a sacred environment will change her? Does she not notice that her pew mates share some of her characteristic's and that in fact some of them may be even worse than she is?
No, I am not silly enough to believe an hour or more in church is going to change the bad habits or thoughts, or actions of me or anyone else. In fact it could be even worse. I might become sanctimonious, believing that because I spend an hour thinking of and worshiping a higher power, I might be better than those who do not, or who worship differently.
I know God, if he exists, and I do believe he does; is too big for any religion or church and he gathers to himself any who wish to be with him anywhere, from gutter to mountaintop, and loves us all equally.
So why am I happy about going to church today? I am happy because I look forward to greeting my friends, with whom I have worked for years, on projects and missions which bring comfort and aid to many others in my community and world. I am happy to sit in my pew and say the old prayers, sing the old hymns and listen to the reading from our ancient texts. I am blessed to listen to a live sermon from our pastor who illuminates with compassion and love the trials we face in our daily life, and offers comfort and support for those who seek it.
I become present in a holy environment, "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."
I feel I walk with my God, each day of my life. I am in a holy presence whenever I turn my thoughts to that which is so much greater than I. I cannot hope, in this life, to ever know the answers to all my questions. I do know, however, that I did not create myself and that neither I not anything else is accident or chance or natural selection. Where accident, chance and natural selection play a part in the creator's plan I am unable to fathom. I know in my most present moments, my darkest thoughts, my most destitute moments, I feel the action and presence of God and he sustains me.
Church service is a moment in time where I share with others our belief in the divine and holy being who creates, sustains and destroys each of us in turn in this life; and who one exists in, eternally.