Column: Why am I doing this?
Let’s talk about why we go to church. Or why we don’t.
There’s plenty of church tradition and doctrine dealing with the Sabbath, attending services, worshipping God in fellowship with other believers, sharing God’s house with those still seeking God’s truth and love, presenting offerings, taking communion, dressing up, dressing down, resting on Sunday, and on and on.
I went to church as a kid because my parents and friends did. I didn’t think about “why.” I drifted away from church in my mid-teens and away from God in my early adult years, also without much thought of “why.” I spent another couple decades thinking little about church, God, Jesus or religion at all.
I spent neither time nor intellectual energy on – let me coin a phrase here – my own “faith equation.” The world was treating me well. I had a series of terrific jobs, got married, had two healthy sons, enjoyed the esteem of my professional peers (I was in sports journalism then public relations), and while I wasn’t getting rich, I was enjoying life – an interesting and happy life – tremendously.
Going to church on Sundays was something other people did. Sunday mornings I was either working and therefore traveling, or when I was home I slept in, had a big at-home breakfast with the family and watched the news shows.
My “not going to church” story is not especially unique. I didn’t see a reason to go, wouldn’t have understood why I was there and doubted anyone could explain it to me. Then one day, I had a reason to go. My older son, in eighth grade, wanted to go to church. So as a family, we went. And suddenly, inexplicably, right there in the service, my “faith equation” needle pointed true north toward Jesus. I wanted to know more, and craved the help of anyone who could explain any part of it to me.
That’s another and much longer story, but since that Sunday 14 years ago (Labor Day weekend 2001) I go to church, want to go to church, enjoy going to church. I read a lot, attend Bible studies, write this column, engage in ministries and nurture Christian relationships. I have learned much about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, church history, doctrines, other religions, etc. And I have noticed one fascinating thing about going to church, especially, specifically, biblically, about the Sabbath:
It’s the only one of the Ten Commandments not mentioned among our Christian obligations in the New Testament, despite being one of the unique aspects of Christ.
More next week.
Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org) notices that Jesus in His earthly life caused a lot of trouble on the Sabbath. There’s a reason why.