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What is essential ...

Three very different churches.  Three very different congregations.  Three different families.

But one common belief, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." - Jesus Christ, John 14:6

Worship today was once again a gift. It spurred thoughts and reminded me (this time) that we (my family, my church-home) are getting it right.  I am blessed to have been raised in a Christian home and am raising my family in that same tradition, the same knowledge that without Christ we are nothing.


Three very different churches. Three very different congregations. Three different families.

Our church is big.  Hip to hip, four services each Sunday.  Worship Band for some, choir for others.  In a sea of people you have to make it a point to be involved in order to be 'noticed', which we have done through the church nursery, MOPS and a weekly small-group Bible study.  My church is my home, a place we come to at least once a week.   I know that I am in the presence of God with a congregation of believers.

My parents' church home is small.  Families take up an entire row.  Everyone knows their fellow congregation-members and a visiting person will soon be noticed and welcomed when walking through the door.  The church is truly the people.  The body of Christ is well represented. 

My in-laws' church is steeped in tradition.  There are kneelers, genuflections, a quiet, calming presence of generations bounce off of beautiful stained windows.  Amens, thanks, and peace ring through the hour.  One with the Body reflects on these parishioners.  (I've talked before about how my husband's upbringing and my own is so different.  It has added to our relationship with Christ as a couple and for that I am so thankful! 'Loving A Person')

The thoughts on baptism, communion, what music is going to be sung, even where the kids will be during worship are all very different at each of these churches.  These points (and so many more) are all non-essential to my Salvation.  Are they important? Sure!  As one small example, I honestly am not sure I could go to a church that didn't have a nursery-program.  I need that hour to worship without keeping a toddler entertained.  But it has nothing to do with my belief in Jesus Christ.  It is my choice, my liberty, to find a church that can accommodate my wants.

"What is essential should unite us, what is non-essential should give us liberty."

If you recently PCSed take the time in these coming weeks to find a new church to call home.  It is one of the hardest parts of making a new-area home but in the end it is well worth it.  Look past the non-essentials and find the presence of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son.  It will be good to find a church you can call home. 

I think one of the advantages of being raised in the 'military-church', the non-denominational chapels on various bases, was the ingrained-thought that it isn't /how/ you worship. It is THAT you worship.

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com 

2 comments:

  1. Amen. Agree whole-heartily. Takes traveling the world and seeing places where people aren't even worshiping to be thankful for even a good place to feel the presence of God. The military definitely made me closer to God.

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  2. Amen! I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is with me.... always, anytime and longs for me to have fellowship with other believers. We go to church, not just for our personal worship experience, but for upholding others: the family of God.

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