Do We Have to Go To Church? Absolutely!
“What’s so important about going to Church on Sunday?” This often asked question has many responses. Here’s one response to think about! We enter Church on any Sunday to hear a different story about how to live in our world. In this sacred space, quietly sealed away from our often noisy existence, we experience the telling of stories of another way of living, another purpose and a different approach.
The world we leave behind when we enter Church can often be a world of exasperation. In it we meet drivers who cut us off in traffic, people who don’t hold doors, some who never say thank you or excuse me.
Newspapers relate stories of leaders insulting other leaders; nations who desire what other nations have and then aggressively seize it. And worst of all we hear of religions, who instead of living the golden rule, i.e., Do unto others as you wish they do to you. Only want others to “do unto them” or else!
But in Church it’s a different story. In Church, we meet people who live and respond differently in their world. We also hear stories about a God who cares, loves and is concerned about us in the most personal of ways.
He is a God who loves enough to intervene, if He has to, even when it means giving up His Son. We find a God who wants to give us happiness, live peacefully with others, and to bestow on us His blessing and mercy when we stumble. In Church, we find hope for a better and different world and we hear about the Kingdom and that we are assured that it can be reached by us.
In Church, stories teach us about the kindly Good Samaritan, who stopped his travels to help a high-jacked stranger get back on his feet again before this Samaritan resumed his travels.
We hear of a heartbroken Father who lost his son to a life far from home and any responsibilities. The son wanted to be “free to be himself,” but soon realized where his real treasure lay and went home to his forgiving father who eagerly took him back.
But there are also “little stories,” stories that speak of God’s abundance in hidden ways. One example is the story of the poor widow who shows through her action of placing two coins in the temple treasury about God’s richness. She freely gave her needed coins with the belief that God would refill that emptiness from His abundant love and mercy.
These stories, and other such readings, teach us that if we feed others, clothe others, and be welcoming and tender toward others, God’s abundance will easily flow through our actions and heal our broken world.
But these stories also remind us that we have to do it. We are the continuation of these Church told stories. This is how salvations works. The stories in Church point the way, and we say “yes” and leave Church open to being the next chapter of salvation history, rather than just trying to get out of the parking lot first.
Church shows us that we can make a difference where we live. God’s abundance flows though us to share, when we become the Good Samaritans, the Forgiving Fathers, the Poor Widows-only us! Yes, we go to Church to prepare ourselves to tell our story. Isn’t this reason enough to go?