Psalm 122: 1 I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the Lord!"
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Greetings in the peace an
d love of God our Creator and Provider.
Not too long ago, I had an in-depth conversation with a friend who has been a life-long follower of Jesus and church goer. Each and every Sunday, you would see him in the house of the Lord worshiping, serving and fellow-shipping with other disciples.
However, recently he has not been "glad" to go to the house of the Lord. In fact, he has struggles with some feelings about "church" right now and does not feel called or compelled to worship like he once did.
So, what happens when you are NOT glad to go to the house of the Lord?
First of all, God's love for you is not based on your church attendance or membership. Contrary to popular opinion and perhaps antiquated teaching, worshiping God does not earn God's favor, grace or love. We have already received God's favor, grace and love by God's doing and choosing.
Worship is an opportunity and place for us to express our love for God. It is a place to publicly acknowledge one's love for God and potently encourage one another on this Journey of Faith together. But no matter what we do, or how we respond nothing can take away the love of God expressed through Jesus.
Secondly, remember you are human; be authentically you. Feeling how you feel is how you feel. There are times when burn out takes place for all of us and church can certainly produce burn out. Church folks. Church teachings. Church politics. Church finances. Church can be a place just as damaging of one's faith as it is affirming!
One of the worse things a community of faith can ask of an individual is to fake the funk. To not be authentically human and voice their own experiences, emotions and understandings. Where Jesus spoke of unity, we have mistaken uniformity expecting everyone to think, praise and believe everything the same.
So if you are not "Glad to go into the house of the Lord," say that. Speak it. Voice it. Share it and perhaps there is something going on in you, in the church or a movement of the Sacred Spirit to change the business as usual approach to how we gather to worship and serve together.
No matter, such realities do not make you a horrible person but a complete human being.
Love, Pastor G