Advent Hope: Going to Church

Advent Hope: Going to Church November 26, 2021

This is late coming out. Advent is nearly here. Then many folks think about Black Friday.

I suppose if your not in the church habit, the idea of being in church, of going to church, on Sunday seems like just one more thing. An unnecessary thing. Just another thing to schedule, an obstacle to actually relaxing and feeling restored.

I Too, Don’t Want to Go to Church

I get that. In fact, I feel like that a lot. In those moments, there’s a need for me to pause and remember what “going” church is about. Even in the less inspirational moments, at the very least, perhaps, it is about willingly identifying with others that want to create a community that shares the destabilizing goals of Jesus. Going to church is a bigger story with larger issues at stake.

It’s not about being holy, or righteous, or good

It’s not about “getting something out of the sermon”

Its not about “being fed”

It’s not about not going to hell

It’s not about believing all the right things

It’s not about doing all the right things

It’s not even about getting to heaven

Adjusting My Perspective

When I get the priorities misplaced, I find church to be boring, which is pretty bad since I am one of the pastors. Yup, even we don’t always feel like going to church. Those misplaced priorities become obstacles and barriers:

to growing

to becoming resilient

to wisdom

to being courageous in compassion

to challenging the injustices of race, gender identity, age, and income.

I lose sight of the hell on earth Jesus pointed out, one of our own making, that we are invited to dismantle as we enter into the life and gift of Jesus’ love. The point of “going to church” is to create a community in the fashion, the style, the steps, and the way of Jesus.

So, there’s a journey that begins at Advent, the four weeks of expectation, preparation, and hope before Christmas morning.

And this journey ends… it ends… um….nope. It doesn’t end.

This journey knows no end.

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