Why do I go to church? Because I need a bigger story than the one in the air. When I was younger, I went to church because it’s what I always did. I didn’t really think much about it. But now?
I need the church.
I need a deep sense of groundedness in something stronger than the latest headlines. And in all the stories I’ve heard, this story of how Jesus lived and moved in the world is the most compelling one I’ve heard.
I need other people smiling and hugging and reminding me there is still good in the world. And they’re willing to link arms with me and do hard things.
Most of all right now, I need to physically be around people I both trust deeply and who see the world differently. Every single time I enter in a conversation with someone like this, I leave with more hope than I thought possible. The voices in the air try to tell us we’re incredibly divided. We’re so polarized that nothing good can come of trying to work together. It’s easier to throw up my hands and retreat into my own world. But this simply is not true. We are not as divided as they tell us.
The church teaches me this.
So really, I don’t go to church on Sunday mornings because I have to. I go to a building on Sunday mornings because this community of beloved people somehow love me in the middle of my imperfection. And if these people can love me, then maybe I’ll keep learning that God loves me too.
I know anxiety is at an all time high for many of you. If you’re looking for some solid ground to stand on with other people who are asking some of the same big questions you are, I’d encourage you to look up the websites of some churches in your area. Find one that resonates with you and this Sunday, pull into the parking lot, walk in the door, sink into a chair in the back row and see what happens. God might just meet you there in a quiet moment. May the hope you’re looking for rise up within these communities of imperfect people.
Friends, we’re not alone. There are communities of people waiting for you and your story. Be brave and share it.