Ok, it's getting ridiculous, I know. I've stopped and started this series too many times! But my husband keeps asking me to finish it, and I'd really like to...even though I'm now well into my thirties! So here we go one more time...hopefully this will be the final run.
Church, for me, has always been. I wrote earlier about how I've been in school for twenty-five of my thirty years. Well, I've been in church for thirty of my thirty years.
I am a pastor's daughter. I remember dancing to worship music when I couldn't have been more than four years old. I remember the children's classes I attended when I was too young to sit through the sermon, remember in particular that I once got my entire class to laugh by announcing how funny it would have been if my name were Gertrude. I am pretty sure I learned many very important things in those classes, but that is what I remember.
I've written extensively about my relationship to church, an entire master's thesis, in fact, so the idea of crafting a blog post that describes how church has impacted the first thirty years of my life feels, well, daunting to say the least.
If I had to sum it up in a sentences though, it would go something like this:
Because of church, I've always known that life is meant to be lived in community, not only with your immediate family, but with a broader group of people who both know and love you.
Because of church, I've known that as rich as this community can be, it is also tenuous and fragile. I've known that, as with all things that offer great gain, there is also the potential for great loss.
Because of church, I've encountered the presence of a living God, known what it is like to feel holiness brush against my shoulder.
Because of church, I've not been able to sustain any illusions about my own holiness or the holiness of Christians in general; real people rubbing real shoulders equals a real mess (and real, genuine good too).
Because of church, I met my husband.
Because of church, I don't expect to sleep in on Sundays.
Because of church, with all its warts and wrinkles, I know God more.