We failed again. Last week our family attempted to watch an online church service. With high hopes, and feeling a little proud of ourselves, we all gathered around the television, turned on the service, and waited to feel like churchgoers! I imagined a Holy moment would take place. It was not very long before things began to unravel. One child needed to go to the bathroom, one started doing sit ups, one pulled out some coloring, and the other actually sat and listened. That was only the beginning! As the service went on the antics increased. Sit ups led to a complete cardio routine. That looked like so much fun that a few others joined in. As the sermon began I could hear preaching in one ear and counting in the other. I looked around and wondered what I had done wrong. It seemed ironic and obnoxious at the same time. I work in a church, and my own kids don’t sit for a service. But as I looked at each one of them, I realized they were engaging in church exactly as who they are. They did not dress up, be quiet, sit nicely or any of those churchy things. But they did show up. I wondered what the folks were like who came to hear Jesus. Something tells me they were a motley crew, maybe a bit like mine. But they were there, mess and all. They showed up. Do you think that’s exactly what God wants from us? To show up? My bet is he doesn’t care how we look, what we wear, how nicely we sit or if we even sit at all. My guess is he just wants us to show up, to be there. My guess is he engages with us, exactly as we are. Broken, hurting, tired, anxious, fidgety, bored you name it. He’s just glad we are there. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe church is important. I think it is important that we worship, serve and grow as a community, but I do believe we should be able to “come as we are”. So maybe church in the living room isn’t so bad after all. Maybe it doesn’t matter where church is at all, maybe it’s wherever we encounter God. Now that’s Holy.
James 4:8 says “come near to God and he will come near to you”.
Where have you encountered God this month? How can we honestly bring ourselves before Him each day?