why do you go to church?

Helen Lauck, our Easter person this past week, spoke about hanging in there with the practice of going to church even in the hard times.  Later that day, I came across a blog entitled Why I Made My Teenager Go to Church, by Mallory McDuff.  In it she shares a concern that most every parent has experienced, how do you decide what does least harm and most good: making them go or letting them skip?  Regardless of where you come down on the issue, it is a challenging situation.  Truthfully these days, when going to church is no longer considered normative for many, one might wonder about it for oneself as well.

McDuff describes a Sunday when she dragged her teenager to church, in spite of misgivings and plenty of reasons not to, and discovered it was the Senior High Service that day, and a high school senior high student, Miranda, happened to be giving the sermon.   When she opened with “most days she doesn’t believe the words of the Nicene Creed” everyone was listening.   But I do say it every week, she continued, because doing so is “an act of community…a tradition that allows us to “have faith, to show up, to be present when we don’t know what to believe.”  And how many of us have felt that way at one time or another or many in our lives.

The blogger goes on to share:

Recently baptized and confirmed, Miranda shared that she comes to church with her family because she is welcomed as a questioner in a community where no one hesitates to reveal their doubts. She comes because of the community, the Holy Spirit. “Most of you are here, I’d guess, because you believe this component of the human experience is important and because it is something that is hard to access alone,” she said.

By this point in the sermon, I felt tears welling up in my eyes and spilling down my cheeks. I looked across the church and saw other adults wiping tears from their faces. I made Maya come to church because I want her to know that she can question and feel vulnerable and cry – and she doesn’t always have to do that all alone…..

Perhaps that is exactly why you come to church. Or perhaps it is something else entirely.  Or perhaps you don’t come, for whatever reason, and yet you continue to stay connected in some way, because some part of you believes and recognizes it is “hard to access it alone.”

Today is the Ascension, when we celebrate the moment Luke describes this way: Jesus was “lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.”  But Jesus is clear that his departure from the post-resurrection community of followers opened the door for the Spirit to come into our midst, that the conversation is ongoing, even unto this day, this week, this Sunday—and we don’t have to access it alone.

So why do you come to church?  Share with me via email by clicking my name or on the website blog.