I don’t go to church for feel good moments. I get those when I slip my shoes off at the end of the day or grab a glass of moscato, or slip between crisp clean sheets. I also don’t attend church to get the pump I need to push through my week. I attend to church to learn.
I get that kids and teens are taught the gospel in a different manner than adults; there is a good reason for it. But when I was little, I sat in “big church” and understood that I was there to listen and be quiet. Sunday school is where I made crafts and sang songs. My children grew up in a different church environment. We often all sang together, then the children were released to age-appropriate classes (I know because I once got conned, I mean “volun-told” to teach one). We met up again after service, where they would come flooding into the sanctuary with their papers and candies, excited to tell me all about their lessons.
We have just settled into a new church, I’m still learning how everyone does stuff but it’s nice. I’m starting to see familiar faces. One day, I’ll put names to those faces and serve beside them in my community. Moving on from our home church was hard for us, we dated in that church, then we tried hard to stay financially faithful to that church over the years. It was where my oldest would go for her first mission trip, serving God. However, just watching it “live” online didn’t allow me to serve in my community.
I need to serve in my community. Christ told his followers to love others and serve them. We have to reach outside of our comfort zone to go and do. This is hard for me. I’m the kind of support that works best from the waiting room. There I will pace up and down and pray for you, but Imma stay out here where there is no blood or germs. However, the job we are called to do is not in that room. We are sent to be out there for others and show them Christ’s love. We meet them where they are, and we love them, not wait for them to get where we are or where we want them to be.
I find that the more I study the Bible and read my devotionals, the hungrier I get for the Word. This is the difference between a church that is feeding the soul and the community, and a person that is selling happiness and fulfillment. I want to learn. I want my portion broken down into tiny, little bite-sized pieces that I can digest and reflect on.
I recently sat in amazement as one of our pastors (teachers as I think of them) broke down a single scripture: When Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for a drink at the well. It was one that I had never given much thought to, but this Biblical scholar opened my eyes. He set up the background, explained the Jewish customs and law surrounding public interactions. Women used their time at the well to socialize, yet this woman was alone. Women didn’t go to the well alone, and she was in an area that was rife with conflict, Samaria. She’d had many husbands and was living with one that wasn’t even that yet. She was ripe in sin.
He went into the layout of why it was an out-of-the-ordinary situation. It would carry Jesus further off course but he knew he had to go. He would then offer this woman everlasting life and she would go into the town and bring the men back with her. Ummm hello, how many people do you know who could go into a town and bring back all the men? This woman was powerful in all the wrong ways. Yet, she was of valuable use to Christ.
Oh how wonderful that is! This is the type of lesson that grows my soul.
— Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Now living in the remoteness of North Dakota, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.