Went to church for the first time in a while yesterday morning. Though I have known church culture pretty well in the past it was really something coming back after being away from it all. It almost felt like seeing things for the first time all over.
Experiencing a heap of people in contemporary style worship singing the name of Jesus frequently was a little weird. Weird not in a bad or uncomfortable way, but in a way that had me thinking why do they keeping singing about Jesus so much? Obviously it was a Christian church passionate about Jesus. Or at the very least, His name.
I loved the worship. It was an experience. Not something to merely observe but something tangible, on some level I feltl it sweeping through the auditorium gently stirring more than mind. Spirit perhaps? Yes, spirit I am sure of it and it was great.
The main thrust of the message was on belonging, that togetherness is deeper than singleness. The emphasis upon rising together to become more Christ like.
My understanding of church is that this is not always practiced. Sometimes religious communities are the worst perpetrators of divisive, segregated community. But this is nothing new, the letter to the Corinthians, the first one, tried to address noxious notions of division. This just tells me that the first churches and the first Christians really did believe in a deep sense of belonging, for all types, though carrying that out is not so easy.
I liked being there yesterday. After two difficult years of personal challenges it was good to shake off the solitary wolf visage and dare to enter a warm community of people celebrating life together. To belong eh?, what a life giving thing.