For the past few weeks, I have been writing to my children, youth and young adult members, questioning why they come. We know that most children attend church because their parents bring them. I mean, they can’t stay at home by themselves. Teenagers attend because their parents make them. I’ve heard parents say, “If I’m going to church, then you’re going to church.” And young adults come (back) to church because they are getting ready to settle down, get married or start family. This last group is looking to provide a spiritual foundation for their children who will come to church because their parents bring them. So, why go to church?
This, of course, has me thinking about race and the many reasons why older adults come to church. How do we come to church and not change our perspective on our neighbor and the stranger? How do we go to church and not leave differently? Now, I don’t mean that we should leave inspired, leave with goose bumps or leave happy. I mean leave unsettled, leave challenged, leave angry because we have been provoked to do something that we know is right.
Why do we go to the house of God, the house of Love and leave still hating, still prejudging, still comparing the accolades and accomplishments of our flesh? Why do we sit in the house of worship and leave still unable to sit in the presence of those of other cultures? Why go to church at all if it is a segregated church? I mean, if our church is no different than the world, then why go to church at all? Why not just stay in the world?
It is my prayer this morning that we would become a house of God, a house of His love so that when persons see us, they would ask themselves, “Why don’t I go to church?” Amen.