The Unspiritual Reason for Church
I’m all about the spiritual reasons that relate to prayer, the work of the Spirit during worship, the observation of communion, study of the Word, and expressing praise to our God. For me, that’s enough. It’s this assembly and fellowship to which God has called His people.
But I’ve been reminded recently that there are some ‘unspiritual‘ reasons for attending and being a part of the church. I know not everyone experiences this in the church to which they belong (which is regrettable). But I have found the church to be …
-A group of people who always ask how I am and are interested in me, fighting back the loneliness of our culture and world.
-A group that has get-togethers planned where we share food, laughs, and friendship.
-A resource of knowledge from various backgrounds that can offer me direction when I have a legal question … or a suggestion when I have a medical ailment … or can remind me which literary novel references this phrase that’s been on my mind … or can tell me how to cook something I haven’t done well with … or who can tell me if the latest movie is any good.
-A place where I can find help. Whether I need to move something that’s too heavy for me or my car is broken down and I need a ride … usually someone will be able to come to my aid. Sometimes it’ll be a group of someones. And without complaints.
-A group that will bring me food when I’m sick or when I’ve lost someone I loved. They won’t let me suffer alone.
I know there are many organizations and groups that can claim to serve their members in such ways. There are places that encourage belonging and warmth, acceptance and friendship. But when God calls a church together I think he has a way of deepening all of those relationships. Our interest and help for one another is based on an eternal principle.
Really, now that I think about it a little more what we might term ‘unspiritual’ is not unspiritual at all. It is reflective of one of the greatest commands of God.
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ – Matthew 22:38b, AMP
When one gives up on church they might think they just don’t believe some of those doctrines or that God is real or that they don’t want to be involved in a religious organization. But what is given up are those unspiritual blessings that, as it turns out, would feed the spiritual side of one’s heart. So, they are not quite so unspiritual after all.
Even with the flaws of her human inhabitants, the church reminds me … out here hope remains.
Thanks for reading, JD.