Are you currently "estranged" from church? Are you mad at people or situations at your old church, and has this been keeping you in bed on Sunday morning?
Here are some excerpts describing what he found:
This morning (Sunday) I just had to go to church. Had to. Keep in mind I haven't been to church in a very, very long time. I had the excuse that I worked on Sundays (even though it was later in the afternoon and I could have gone, but see, I have a "routine" I have to follow on workdays, and, well, you know…) but now I have Sundays off. My schedule has been like that for almost a couple of months, but I still didn't go. But today, I had to. Not because of any crisis, at least none that are obvious to me or anyone else, but I'm a part of the body of Christ, and maybe I was feeling the disconnect and the fact that it just wasn't right. It just wasn't the way things should be.
Not only did I have to go to church today, I had to go to MY church. I had to go to the church where I have my membership, Yale Avenue Christian Church. Never mind that things happened there that have, shall I say, disappointed me. Never mind that I've moved theologically to the left of where Yale Avenue is (since it has the rep as being the most conservative DIsciples of Christ church in the city of Tulsa.) Never mind that I was really apprehensive about going, and thinking about attending somewhere else and possibly transferring my membership. That was where I needed to be today.
. . .
I fully expected to make a appearance, decide that this church wasn't for me anymore, and to start making plans for finding another church. I didn't expect to feel like I was back home. I didn't expect to feel that Yale Avenue was still the place for me. But, damn it, I did. Now, I could over-analyze the whole experience, chalk it up to an emotional reaction, realize that my welcome after having been gone so long was more extravagent than it will be after I've been there for a month or two. But I know how I felt when I was there. I was home.
. . .
The people of the congregation welcomed me with open arms; with hugs, handshakes, and smiles. It's almost like I never left. Well, scratch that, it is like I left and came back, which is what I did. Again, they might not be as excited after seeing me Sunday after Sunday. But now some might even be stirred to pray for me once they've seen me. I especially enjoyed talking to people who were in the praise band when I was leading it and were still in it, like the kid who plays bass, who began when he was about 15 or so and now is in his first year of college. I was happy to hear that he leads the youth praise band now. Or the young married woman who just had her first child. And, of course, there were others, both in the praise band and without. They remember me.
Now I know why I had to go. I'm still not 100% sure I will keep going there. But there's a much better chance now that I did go back and was surprised to find that I was part of a family that I hadn't seen for months and months. It was easy while I was away to think that I never wanted to go back there. Now God threw a wrench into the works and it has started me thinking. Thinking that maybe my church home is the best place to be for now.
I hope that you have a place in a church that feels like home. The Bride, though imperfect and, sometimes, maddening, is still very beautiful.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
– Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)