January 25, 2015

What Does it Mean?

What does it mean to be a Christian?

I skipped church today, for the first time this year, and slept in an extra two hours and watched a sermon on my own. And the truth is, I went through a massive debate in my mind the night before, trying to figure out if skipping church was an okay thing to do. I guess you could say that wanting to get more sleep and avoid the ten degree weather outside are bad reasons to sleep through church.

But the truth is-- it's not about what I do. See, I'm broken and sinful and weak. I mess up, constantly, and sometimes getting out of bed in the morning really does feel like the most difficult thing in the world. I cried through worship last Sunday because all I could see were the families sitting together in church and the very, very empty chairs on either side of me. And this morning, I just couldn't do it.

There's that part of me that wants to be able to say I go to church every Sunday and do all the good "Christian" things. That part of me is right sometimes, and knows that the only way I can build a solid church community is by going to church. But that part of me is also selfish, and wants to do things on my own. That part of me forgets that I am saved not because of me, but because of God.

And trust me, God doesn't need me to be at church in order to speak to me.

Over the last week I've been reading through the book of Exodus, and I'm now at that part when God is telling Moses how to set up the temple. I just read chapter 28, the entire thing about how Aaron's clothes should look. I find myself wondering how important attaching pomegranates and bells at the bottom of the vest really is. Does God really care what Aaron wears? Does God really care whether I sit through a church service or listen to a sermon and songs online?

I don't have the answers, you know, in case you were hoping I might. I just know that I'm broken and sinful and weak. I know that God is perfect and sinless and strong. I know that somehow, He uses all things together for His good, for His plan.

And I know that He wants my complete and total devotion. He wants every ounce of my love. He wants me to be able to pull myself out of bed and brave the freezing half hour walk to church. But He also knows my heart, and He understands when life just gets too hard and what I need most of all is to spend time alone in His presence. He knows. He knows everything, and He loves me so much more than I can understand.

That's what it means to me to be a Christian. To live in God's love, always and forever, no matter what.

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