As I entered the church building this Sunday Morning, I made my way to get a cup of coffee. It is not very often that I make it to the service fifteen minutes early and go alone. As I was pouring a cup, I am greeted by others in the area, and as I was adding sugar to my cup, I noticed some of the young high school kids gathered around visiting with each other. Everyone was relational with each other.
As I made my way to my seat and sat down, the lights dimmed, and the music started. At that moment, I was transported back in time before I was married with children and was reminded of when I attended services by myself. The church was a place where I would go when life was rough. It was not the church building itself but the community of believers that were within its walls.
Even though I was a Christian since the age of twelve and grew up knowing about Jesus Christ, I was still a sinful person who was disobedient towards God. I came to the church as a sinful, broken man searching for God I learned about so long ago. As I was worshiping and praying with others with tears in my eyes, the congregation around me would approach me and began to build relationships with me. These people accepted me for who I was and not for the sins that I committed.
As time went on, I built more relationships with others and learned to be obedient to Jesus Christ again. You see, the church is a place where everyone can go if they are lost and are searching for God. God is a relational God and wants to be in a relationship with you. That is why God sent his Son Jesus to earth, so that if we believe with our heart and confess that he is Lord, then we can be in a relationship with God. As Christians in the church, we need to follow Jesus’s example and be relational. We read of many instances within the pages of Scripture where Jesus was forming relationships with others around him.
I know some people have been hurt and have not been accepted by those within the church. Unfortunately, some view the sin and not the person. But to be in a relationship with God is to accept Jesus Christ and turn away from your sin and follow him. The key is the relationship with Jesus Christ and to have relationships with others.
Fast forward to the present, and I am still a sinner who is saved by grace. Even though times have changed, the church has not. It is still a place filled with people who are in a relationship with Jesus and with each other. It is a place I can still go, be accepted, and build relationships. You can experience the same. Just give it a try. Even if it is for the first time or the 100th time, you can go to church and begin forming a relationship with God and others.