I woke up this morning to the news of mass shootings in Las Vegas, Nevada. My first question was why do we allow assault weapons which are military equipment to be in the hands of the general public? My second question, with the world in such disarray, is why do people choose not to go to church, or temple, or mosque? I suppose we all have to worship something. (Continue Reading…) If it is not God, there are plenty of frightening alternatives to choose from. Actually, church confronts us with our idol-worship of people, places, and things that are other than God.
Going to church is not about the institution. Institutions won’t save anybody. But the church is designed to connect you to God. The worship is God-directed from the very start. We say “Blessed be God… and his kingdom” (which is a mended creation). We offer a “cleansing” prayer, and then a song praising God. We pray a collect specifically for that week. We hear God’s Word in Scripture from each part of the Bible. We affirm our faith, and we are aware of our shortcomings and needs, so we pray. Then we confess. The standards of love in Bible and Creed bring us to our knees, literally or metaphorically. Then we are forgiven and can stand before God. We can stand to be with God, and for God to be with us. We participate mutually in communion where God abides in us and we in him. We are infused with compassion for ourselves and others. Then we are sent into the world with gladness and singleness of heart.
Now some people go to the institution but don’t go to God. But there is no other purpose to church than to get you to God. If that is not our destination then we are missing the point. That’s the whole “why” of it.