Whilst there are plenty of things about Church that grate on people’s nerves (my own included), I’ve decided there’s a few things I particularly like about Church. They include:
- Singing communally
- Participating in communion
- Making statements of faith communally
- Praying communally
I think the common factor is clear.
Now I’m well aware that not everyone is keen on all (or perhaps any) of those things, but that’s why so many different flavours of Church exist.
I really like it when we say things together, because it raises the bar to a formal and official level. It shows that when we meet in Church we are a people with purpose and meaning.
Take one of the prayers I prayed communally at Church yesterday :
We praise you for adopting us as your children and making us heirs of eternal life.
In your mercy you have washed us from our sins and made us clean in your sight.
Yet we still fail to love you as we should and serve you as we ought.
Forgive us our sins and cleanse us by your grace,
That we may continue as members of Christ in whom alone is our salvation.
What an absolute cracker.
The first sentence alone is enough to think about for the rest of your life, let alone the rest of this blog post.
Christians are all about having the same father and the family likeness. With God, it’s a father-child relationship that’s heavenly. Literally.
We praise you for adopting us as your children
Church is a family: brothers and sisters all in together but no person was born into Jesus’ family tree. Becoming a Christian is a spiritual transaction.
Those who are spiritually bankrupt are brought into a new family: the family of Christ. He signed the adoption papers with his blood.
No one is at Church because they deserve it. We’re all outsiders who have been brought inside. So there’s no room for thinking you are better than anyone else. All are children who desperately needed a spiritual home and family. And what a family…
Making us heirs of eternal life
A representative from Compassion visited my Church yesterday.
If you’re a child living in poverty and you get ‘adopted’ by a sponsor, that’s a great thing.
If you’re a sinner who gets adopted by God, that’s a phenomenal thing because basically you get the keys to the family safe and there’s a bounty in there: the eternal elixir.
Some people enjoy a royal wedding and recently we’ve had a few. I personally am a bit of a royal watcher and particularly when it comes to the weddings.
There’s that added bit of excitement when the royal is marrying a commoner, and understandably so. What a societal shift they’re experiencing in their marriage!
Christians often refer to God as “The King of Kings” and believe they’ve experienced a far greater societal shift, with a far greater family safe than the one with The Crown Jewels (amazing as they are).
That’s why I love praying these sort of prayers together with others.
It’s such an affirmation of identity, regardless of what flavour of Church you attend (some people use the term, ‘denomination’). It’s what all Christians believe.
And to read out the words together, makes it like a declaration of citizenship; not to a nation, but to a family.
Yours in the family,