Should I Go To Church?
Sound familiar? This is the question
I posed to the youth in their section of this month's Caller: Do
you wake up Sunday morning wondering why your family is making such an
effort to get dressed and out the door on a non-school day?
"As Christians we're supposed to go to
church," is a common response. However, when the Christian experience
becomes an obligation rather than a response from the heart, many people
choose not to take part in that activity.
"Our family has been attending church for
generations," is another answer that is especially true at Trinity.
We are blessed to have generations of families
worshipping as part of our community.
We are blessed to have members who have been here for decades! But
you are not a Christian just because you're born into a Christian home.
Following Jesus is a conscious choice rather than a cultural inheritance.
The social life of fellowship in the church is a bonus to church attendance,
not a substitute for spiritual motivations.
The Church is to be a sign to the world
of the work of God an expression of what God is doing here for all.
The Church is a community of people called to
recognize and cooperate with that work
of God. Therefore, as Christians established as a community of Christ's
church on earth we make a choice to accept God's invitation to worship
with other Christian believers. We come together to worship God because
God commanded it for our good so we remember and recognize the dynamic
process of God's saving initiative in the world.
"Going to church" plunges us into this
dynamic process that has a dual direction. In worship God comes to
us through the Word and through the Sacraments offering redemptive grace.
Our cooperative response as a community of faithful followers of Christ
becomes the pattern that makes God's initiative visible to the world.
This is how it should be for us everyday of our lives as Christians but
so often we overlook and fail to see the holy in the everyday.
If a friend or neighbor or co-worker asked
you, "Why should I go to church?" what would be your reply?
As a community we've been asking for your
input into the ministry that God is calling Trinity Lutheran Church to
do here in this time and place. The pattern
and the process of divine initiative and
human response have caused growth in some churches and division in others.
As we discern what God intends for us to be as a community of faithful
followers remember that we can be a sign of hope, a sign of what can be,
a promise of a better world in the light of God's redemptive grace.
May God's blessings live in each of you,
Pastor Laurie Arroyo