It is the familiar in our faith that brings us comfort and assurance. Calvin often noted that it was because of ritual and familiarity in our worship services that our faith was confirmed and strengthened. The thought being that familiarity allowed for us to be more open to the spirit and thus feel the spirit more strongly. Interesting, is it not?
And I feel that we have all felt that to. When we are in moments of need or joy stating familiar prayers like the Lord’s prayer or reading familiar passages give us greater comfort. This is important. Our worship services are predictable and we all know when we should stand and when we should sit; we know the words to the Gloria and we can easily follow along in a bulletin to any church service, even churches we don’t usually worship at.
Yet, what if we didn’t have faith? Or at least a church to call home? What if we had never been to a church worship service or only attended weddings and funerals…how strange would it feel to you? How worried would you be that you didn’t make a fool of yourself?
These are important things to think about. For these are reasons why many of the 49% of unchurched people don’t go to church. And also such an important part of what is “missing” in people’s life. You see, as one of your session members asked sometime this year “[unchurched] just don’t know what they are missing” and that is SO true.
Yes our churches have some bad parts – yes we must ask for money, yes some ask too often and some have done some bad things with it. Yes we have our in fighting but that is just because we are so passionate about our faith and our churches.
Next time you are talking to someone who doesn’t have a church home, think about this…what would you be missing by not having a church faith to celebrate your belief with? And how can we make worship more comfortable?